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December 22, 1967 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-12-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Hamsun's 'Hunger' in New Translation;
Singer's Introduction Recalls Writer's
Pro-Nazism; Influence on Yiddish Noted

Knut Ha m s u n's first novel,
"Hunger," was published in 1890
and it at once established him as
one of the great Scandinavian
writers. He won the Nobel Prize
in Literature in 1920 and his nu-
merous works won wide acclaim.
His "Hunger" did not appear
in this country until 1921, and the
great work, in a new translation
by Robert Bly has just been issued
by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (19
Union Sq. W., NY3).
Bly also has written an explana-
tory introduction on "The Art of
'Hunger' " prefacing his transla-
ton of the novel from the Nor-
wegian.
Featuring the new work is an
introduction by Isaac Bashevis
Singer on "Knut Hamsun, Art-

ist of Skepticism."

The definite introductions de-
scribe the era during which Ham-
sun wrote his classics, and the
conditions under which he began
his literary career. The novel is
the confession of a writer who
lived on the edge of starvation,
who suffered from economic needs
and the low income from articles
he wrote for newspapers. In a
setting marked by depression, the
theme in "Hunger" was delineated
to arouse the deep interest the
novel had created.
Singer describes "Hunger" as
a product of "a time of social up-
heaval and revolutionary propa-
ganda."
Making reference to Hamsun's
pro-Nazi stand, Singer states in
his introduction:

"During World War H, the

80-year-old Hamsun was guilty
of a most tragic mistake. Nazi
critics read into Hamsun, as they
had into Nietzsche, support for
their ideologies, and Hamsun
deceived himself into thinking
that Nazism would spell the end
of the left-wing radicalism which
repelled him. The Knut Hamsun
who had kept aloof of the masses
and social reformers allowed
himself to be taken in by Nazi
demagogues. It was a sad day
for many of Hamsun's followers
when a picture of him greeting

Ilitler appeared in the news-
papers. In it, Hamsun's face re-

flects shame, white Hitler looks
at him mockingly. In Norway,
where strong opposition to Ham-
sun had always existed due to
his isolation and his popularity
with foreigners, he was quite
properly anathematized. Follow-
ing Hitler's defeat, Hamsun's

sons were imprisoned."
In his admiration for Hamsun,
Singer contends, however, that
"the literary and political errors
' of his later years cannot erase
Hamsun's colossal role in the lit-
erature of the 20th Century, even
though he actually wrote his best
works in the 19th Century . . ."
a
sa
Singer describes Hamsun as less
popular in the United States than
in Europe. He tells of the influ-
ence of Hamsun on many writers
and asserts:
"Hamsun even had an effect
on Hebrew and Yiddish literature.
Agnon, Schoffmann and Bergel-
son were influenced by him. This
writer was enchanted with Ham-

Sen. Clark, Opponent of Arms Aid,
Backs Military Assistance to Israel

NEW YORK (JTA)—Sen. Jos- objectives."
eph S. Clark. Pennsylvania Demo- I• "The arguments against mili-
crat, who in the past has been a; Cary aid simply do not apply,"
consistent opponent of military aid! Sen. Clark said in explaining his

programs, Sunday night advocated, position. "Will the arms be used
that the United States pursue a in military adventures against
full-scale program of military as- peaceful neighboring states? Not
sistance to Israel, including the by Israel. Are the arms actually
loan of American warships. needed to offset Communist-
"Although as a member of the sponsored military pressure?
Senate Foregin Relations Commit-I Definitely yes." He also criti-
cized Gen. de Gaulle for "shift-
tee I have been a persistent op -
ponent of military aid programs, I ing his favor to Israel's adver-
saries."
consider Israel a separate case,"
The dinner, which was attended
Sen. Clark said at a dinner of the
Zionist Organization of America by 1,000 leaders of the ZOA, and
here. prominent opera and theater fig-
Vice-President Humphrey sent a ures. honored Richard Tucker,
telegram reiterating the United Metropolitan Opera star, for his
States position on the Middle East. "devotion to Israel and the Jewish
The wire stated: "Harmony, peace people."
The dinner also began the for-
and justice in the Middle East—
these are our steadfast goals. Free- mal launching of a drive for the
dom of international waterways. Richard Tucker Music Center to I
freedom from border terrorism, re- be located at the Kfar Silver Agri-
spect for nationhood — these and cultural High School campus. near
other goals, as stressed by Presi- Ashkelon. The center, for which a I
dent Johnson, are our continued goal of $200,000 has been set, will
contain facilities for concerts, re-
cordings and the teaching of music.
At a meeting of the ZOA's na-
OUT-OF-TOWN GUESTS
tional executive committee.
The CARIBE MOTEL
Jacques Torczyner, president of
PROVIDES YOUR
the ZOA, sharply condemned the
recent outburst against Israel and
WITH . . .
Jews by French President Charles I
CONVENIENT LOCATION
Woodward near 7 Nile Rd.
de Gaulle.
Minutes awn) from everything
He noted that French Jewry
LUXURIOUS ROOMS
"condemned de Gaulle's statement
• Phones • Air Conditioning
• Complete Kitchens
with dignity" and declared: "We
• Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
owe it to ourselves not to identify
COMPLETE
de Gaulle with France and the
ACCOMMODATIONS
French people, and to keep our
AT NO EXTRA COST
balance of judgment in the face of
• TV and Radio • Parking
such provocations."
• Continental Breakfast
Discussing domestic issues, Tor-
PHONE
ezyner criticized those who would
TO 3-2662
force the electorate in New York
State to choose between the in- !
cumbent Jewish member of the
Rates
U.S. Senate. Jacob K. Javit. and
Moderate
Arthur J. Goldberg. the chairman
Start at
of the American delegation to the
$8.00
United Nations.
Such a forced choice between
Now 7 Mile Rood
two "distinguished Jews." he said,
would
be "a disservice to the Jew-
19630
ish community as a whole which
Woodward
needs both men in important posi-
tions in public life."

sun's prose for years. Hamsun was
perhaps the first to show how
childish the so-called grownups
are. His heroes are all children
— as romantic as children, as ir-
rational, and often as savage. Ham-
sun discovered even before Freud
did that love and sex are a child's
game . . ."

Friday, December 22, 197-7

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Cleveland Project Aids 2,500 Negro Children

CLEVELAND (JTA) — A wide
range of projects, tailored to meet
the educational needs of some 2,-
500 deprived Negro schoolchildren,
constitute the response of the Jew-
ish Community Federation of Cle-
veland to the issue of the role of
the Jewish community in Ameri-
ca's fight on poverty in the inner
city.
Among those projects is a school
neighborhood youth corps program
which offers an opportunity "for

meaningful, well-supervised part-
time work for high school stu-
dents." It is being carried out, on
a three year basis, under auspices
of the public welfare communities,
in a joint effort with the Negro
Community Federation of Glen-
ville, a typical "core" area. The
program is underway in one high
school and its feeder schools, with
the participation of a wide range
of Jewish service agencies and vol-
unteers from Jewish organizations.

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