Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun Elements Of A Simple Life, Blood And Soil When Knut Hamsun won the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1920, it was mostly because Growth of the Soil, an an epic vision of peasant life in Norways backcountry. Growth of the Soil is the book that the common man of the day valued more than any other of his works, the book that the Germans had printed in field-editions to send with their soldiers to the fronts. But this is not an ideally portrait of the values in life - it is a very accurate description of how the life was in the outback for these early settlers, how extremely simple they were. It was not because they had achieved a great understanding of the meaning of life, readers in that belief are totally wrong. They had no choice, were not on terms with their inner - self at all, did not know comfort and beautiful music, could not afford to be fastidious. In Growth of the Soil, Knut Hamsun has told the story of the simple, unsophisticated people breaking the land and struggling to live in Norway, and done it with such wisdom, humor, tenderness, and talent, that in many respects this is his best work. Personal Review: Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun I had heard of Hamsun's fame as a novelist and infamy as a Norweigian. I picked up this book to examine the fuss. I am not a Norwegian, but I think they should be proud of Hamsun and I do not take his wartime sympathies as any detraction from his literary work at all. History is written by the winners. No I am not a Norwegian, but I am a gardener, and a husband and father however, and the life of my home and hearth follows many of the same slow, steady, fertile rhythms of blood and soil that Hamsun paces in his work. Like other reviewers, I found the work slow yet comforting, just like planting little seeds in black loam and watching them sprout and grow. I did travel to Norway once and on the Sonne fjord I visited a farm, a young but enterprising Norwegian man and his sturdy wife who had a flock of goats they milked to make gjet ost, the delicious brown cheese of Scandanavia, samples of which they served with crepes and ligonberry jam. This was years before I read the book, but my memory of the place and people, the tastes, the look of the water in the fjord and the cliffs above, the smells and sounds of the bleating goats, the ruddy cheeks and blonde hair of the farmer and his wife, all accompanied me throughout my enjoyment of this novel. As an American, whose primary vocation is intensely active a nd full of interpersonal conflict, I marvel at the peaceful life that many of the good peasant folk of Europe and other nations had in pre-industrial times before globalization and the rest of it. The farming of yesterday was physically hard work but remembering the Benedictine slogan "Ora et Labora" maybe hard work has a place in the life well lived. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!