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Mysteries (Anglais) Broché – 27 février 1992


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Présentation de l'éditeur

Mysteries (1892) is the story of Johan Nilsen Nagel, a mysterious stranger who suddenly turns up in a small Norwegian town one summer-and just as suddenly disappears. Nagel is a complete outsider, a sort of modern Christ treated in a spirit of near parody. He condemns the politics and thought of the age, brings comfort to the insulted and injured and gains the love of two women suggestive of the biblical Mary and Martha. But there is a sinister side of him: in his vest he carries a vial of Prussic acid. The novel creates a powerful sense of Nagel's stream of thought, as he increasingly withdraws into the torture chamber of his own subconscious psyche. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun (1858–1952) worked as a laborer in both Scandinavia and America before establishing himself as a successful playwright and novelist.

Sverre Lyngstad, the preeminent scholar of Norwegian literature, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Sverre Lyngstad, the preeminent scholar of Norwegian literature, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

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Amazon.com: 39 commentaires
35 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Mysteries 3 novembre 2000
Par Daniel L. Chodos - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
"Mysteries" remains amongst the handful of pure existential novels before there was such a thing; before the very word became a contrived label. Nagel arrives in town as an eccentric outsider. He does not reveal a complete and thorough past -- partly because he guiltily enjoys the shroud of mystery people pin on him -- partly because he can not come to grips with it himself. Here is a man able to intelligently articulate (whilst drunk, mind you) on the scope of man's most pressing questions of existence, but struggles repeatedly with his own conscious and interactions with people. The genius of the novel is found in that the way one reacts to Nagel invariably reveals something about you, the reader! Do you hold the wealthy intellect in contempt for not breaking free from the situations he creates? Or do you sympathize with this man and relate to his own pattern of self destruction? The answer does not come easy. There are arguments for both disgust and pity. And out of our own curious need to finalize our opinions, to decide what we really think, we read on and on unable to prevent ourselves from being shaped by this novel . "Mysteries" contains one of the most complex character studies in literature while being completely void of pretentious airs. Nagel has a great mind, but that's exactly the problem, he can't reason out the cynicism he holds for himself. One of Hamsun's underlying themes is an illustration of how the great thinkers of the world end up so tightly wrapped with pessimism that they are unable to function in society. He dispels any sense of romanticism that we commonly hold for the struggling artists, philosophers, and eccentrics of the world.
Oh, and carefully read the lines pertaining to "The Midget." The only place you might find a greater supporting cast member is in Shakespeare's canon.
23 internautes sur 25 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Shatteringly Gorgeous Story 20 février 2005
Par Karen Mercury - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book was the #1 hugest influence on me as a teen. I can't say enough good things about it. It's prose poetry in motion. Hamsun wrote about what nowadays we'd call a manic-depressive or bipolar man who is living on the edge of a deep, mystical Norweigan nightmare where the nights never end. A choir of a thousand voices, violin cases, apothecary smells, lifesaving medals...Johan Nilsen Nagel is the most fully-realized character of all time. This is probably literature's first paranormal, too. The Midget is unforgettable as well.
21 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Cold Wind... 4 octobre 2000
Par fmeursault@yahoo.com - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
He is one of the great writers of the twentieth century, though his best works were written before 1900. He is one of the most influential European novelists of the last hundred years, yet he is not well known in the United States. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, the most important Norwegian author since Ibsen, he is often ignored in his own country. He is Knut Hamsun -- novelist of genius...
Hamsun, in "Mysteries, Pan, and Hunger", wrote three of the greatest novels of the late nineteenth century, novels which created a new literary style and which delineated a new literary hero: the alienated loner. His work was widely admired in the first half of the twentieth century, with writers as diverse as Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, and Henry Miller citing Hamsun's work as being of special importance and influence. Isaac Bashevis Singer, in his essay "Knut Hamsun, Artist of Skepticism" goes so far as to claim that "the whole modern school of fiction in the twentieth century stems from Hamsun." Henry Miller said of "Mysteries" that it "is closer to me than any other book I've read." The second of Hamsun's great early novels, and my personal second favorite...!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Wow. An absolute masterpiece.... 20 mars 2007
Par Earnan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I honestly do not know exactly what to say about this novel, other than I am thankful I stumbled upon it.

I just finished it several minutes ago and it was one of the most fascinating, thought provoking, and mesmorizing books I have ever read. The manic main character is easily one of my favorites found throughout all of fiction. His rambling, yet calculated monologues, never cease to amaze me in what direction they end up taking the reader and the audience in the book. His inner monologues are intense in their portrayel of a highly intelligent mind alternating between exuberance and utter despair. He can analyze and attack the main theories and thinkers of the day, yet in his own life he seems incapable of curbing his self destructive and impulsive actions. Frankly, I am in awe that anyone could write a novel like this without having gone over the edge from genius to madness and back again.

I must admit many of the books "mysteries" remain very much unclear to me, though the ending (the last page) hit me like a smack in the face---I thought better of the particular character of whom much is revealed. I, after the novel sinks in a little bit, plan on rereading it and trying to decipher more out of it.

Once again I am brought back to Hamsun....brilliant and ahead of his time.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The more you see, the less you understand... 15 décembre 2008
Par Mark Nadja - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
An eccentric stranger comes to a small Norwegian town and proceeds to shock, bewilder, and beguile its bourgeoisie inhabitants with his bizarre behavior, feverish rants, and uncompromising self-revelations.

Mysteries is, perhaps, Hamsun best novel--the fullest, most effective expression of his major preoccupation with social hypocrisy and personal honesty--a novel that illustrates, as do all Hamsun's to one extent or another, Schopenhauer's maxim that a man is only himself when alone. In Johannes Nagel, Hamsun has created a man divided against himself, as we all are, but so hyper-aware of his own inherent duplicity that his very existence is a kind of exquisite torture between opposites. He's dishonest even when he's being brutally honest, selfish even when he's selflessly giving, base even when acting nobly.

Nagel is never free of his awareness of the psychological shadow that dogs everything he thinks and does, the reaction to every action, the no to every yes. No motive--and no man--is pure; and Nagel feels compelled to point out this fact constantly in his own dealings with everyone he meets.

The things we do and think that we'd never tell a soul? Nagel blurts them right out. He has a kind of spiritual Tourette's syndrome. He pushes his worst side forward as if to dare us, as if to say, "love one side, love the other, they are both mine."

Naturally, the conventional, one-sided townsfolk, each of who keeps his or her own ugly shadow-twin carefully hidden from public view (and hidden even from themselves), don't know what to make of someone as ruthlessly self-critical as Nagel. After all, few people ever seriously consider whether "maybe it's me!"

He's not in town long before he becomes hopelessly infatuated with the unavailable fiancée of a naval officer away on duty. This woman has already been the rumored cause of one young man's recent suicide. Nagel, while scorning the young man's melodramatic self-demise, seems nevertheless to be rapidly heading in the same direction in spite of himself. Because for Hamsun, much of what we do is in spite of ourselves and even to spite ourselves. It's a theme Hamsun has also explored in two other great novels, Hunger and Pan.

Mysteries is an unusual novel. It doesn't have a follow-the-dot plot. Nagel is given to wild flights of fancy, to telling stories, and recounting dreams that are symbolic and tangential to the main storyline and may not even be true. In the end one isn't sure what to make of Nagel--and that's to be expected. Nagel doesn't know what to make of himself--or anyone else. That is the "mystery" in Mysteries--the ultimate unknowability that each of us represents--to each other and to ourselves.

Hamsun gives voice to both the dilemma and the despair of the insoluble puzzle of identity and does it in language that is surprisingly straightforward--and ephemerally subtle. It may be that few, if any, have done a better job at dissecting human character to lay bare the mystery at the core of our being than Hamsun--a mystery that eludes even the sharpest of scalpels. A vivisection that, like all, leave behind a corpse and more questions than answers.
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