A Heideggerian Reading of Knut Hamsun’s Growth of the Soil
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The article proposes a reading of Knut Hamsun’s Nobel Prize winning novel Growth of the Soil that will simultaneously follow the interpretive inspirations provided for it by the philosophical thought of Martin Heidegger. The “eco-critical” reading of Hamsun with Heidegger is encouraged by some intriguing similarities to be found between Heidegger’s and Hamsun’s perspectives of seeing the world and the relations human beings enter with it. It is argued that both Heidegger and Hamsun hoped for an existence that would be sensitive to the significance of the everydayness (both to the things created by man, and those brought forth by nature), but also open to receiving the world as a mysterious and extraordinary gift which exceeds human comprehension. I believe Hamsun’s famous novel provides the reader with a fine model of a “poetic dwelling” – the paramount idea late Heidegger was trying to illuminate.
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