Love letters read after 118 years

Several love letters penned over 100 years ago by Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, winner of the 1920 Nobel Literature Prize, were opened on Jan. 4 at the National Library in Oslo

Culture Minister Anniken Huitfeldt broke the seals and several Hamsun experts at hand quickly ascertained that the letters were sent to Julie Amanda Lous, whom the author had a stormy relationship with from 1891-92.

Hamsun’s breakthrough came with the novel “Hunger” in 1890, often regarded as the first modern novel in Norwegian literature.

Lous, a piano teacher in Kristiansund, died in 1963 without ever marrying.

The package was handed to the National Library by her nephew in 1960 with the stipulation that the letters remain sealed for 50 years.

Hamsun ended the relationship with Lous, known as Lulli, in April 1892. The package included comments by Lous.

“This was Hamsun at his worst. We know a lot about Hamsun’s relationship with Lulli (Lous), but it is interesting to see her views of the relationship,” Hamsun biographer Ingar Sletten Kolloen told the online edition of the Aftenposten newspaper.

Last year, Norway commemorated the 150-year anniversary of Hamsun’s birth. He died in 1952.

The author’s life-long sympathies with Germany proved controversial after the Second World War and the liberation of Norway after the 1940 German invasion.

Source: News 24

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