The Book and the Movie: Sult / Hunger | Knut Hamsun, 1890 / Henning Carlsen, 1966


“I suffered no pain, my hunger had taken the edge off; instead I felt pleasantly empty, untouched by everything around me and happy to be unseen by all. I put my legs up on the bench and leaned back, the best way to feel the true well-being of seclusion. There wasn’t a cloud in my mind, nor did I feel any discomfort, and I hadn’t a single unfulfilled desire or craving as far as my thought could reach. I lay with open eyes in a state of utter absence from myself and felt deliciously out of it.”

“Oh what strange freaks one’s thoughts are guilty of when one is starving.”

“…I will exile my thoughts if they think of you again, and I will rip my lips out if they say your name once more. Now if you do exist, I will tell you my final word in life or in death, I tell you goodbye.”

“The darkness brooded around me. Nothing moved. But high above my head rustled endless music, the air, that distant tuneless humming which never fell silent. I listened so long to this eternal feeble sound that it began to get me confused: it was certainly symphonies coming from the orbiting universes above me, stars that were singing a song… “It’s not, more likely the devil!” I said, and laughed aloud to bolster me a little. “It is the night owls of Canaan hooting!” I got up, lay down again, put on my shoes, tramped around awhile in the dark, and lay down again, fought and battled against rage and terror till far into the morning hours, when I finally fell asleep.”

 "Foul places began to gather in my inner being, black spores which spread more and more. And up in Heaven God Almighty sat and kept a watchful eye on me, and took heed that my destruction proceeded in accordance with all the rules of art, uniformly and gradually, without a break in the measure."


“Weakness! I said harshly to myself, and I clenched my fists and said: Weakness. I mocked myself for these ridiculous feelings, made fun of myself quite consciously; I spoke very sternly and reasonably, and I fiercely squeezed my eyes shut to get rid of my tears.”

“The intelligent poor individual was a much finer observer than the intelligent rich one. The poor individual looks around him at every step, listens suspiciously to every word he hears from the people he meets; thus, every step he takes presents a problem, a task, for his thoughts and feelings. He is alert and sensitive, he is experienced, his soul has been burned…”


Knut Hamsun, Hunger, 1890

Krzysztof Komeda - Sult


“My empty pockets no longer weighed me down, it was a delight to me to be broke again.”


“Truth is neither ojectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.” 


“I lie and repeat these words over to myself, and find that they are capital. Little by little others come and fit themselves to the preceding ones. I grow keenly wakeful. I get up and snatch paper and pencil from the table behind my bed. It was as if a vein had burst in me ; one word follows another, and they fit themselves together harmoniously with telling effect. Scenes piles on scene, actions and speeches bubble up in my brain, and a wonderful sense of pleasure empowers me. I write as one possessed, and fill page after page without a moment’s pause.”


“I am a battle ground for invisible forces”

“I strolled up to the Royal Gardens and fell to brooding. These people I met on the streets, how gaily and lightly they rolled their shining heads and swung through life as if through a ballroom! Not a single eye had grief in it, no shoulders had burdens, in these happy minds there was not a clouded thought, not even a tiny hidden pain. I walked there, alongside these creatures, young myself, hardly leafed out, and I had already forgotten what happiness was! I hugged these thoughts close to me, and found that a terrible injustice had been done to me. Why had these last few months gone so much against me? I could no longer remember my own joyful nature, and I had the strangest troubles coming from all sides. I could not sit on a park bench by myself or put my foot down anywhere without being besieged by tiny and pointless events, absurd nonsense, which forced itself into my brain and scattered my powers to the four winds.”


“It seemed beyond all measure dense to me, and I felt its presence oppress me. I closed my eyes, commenced to sing under my breath, and tossed to and fro, in order to distract myself, but to no purpose. The darkness had taken possession of my thoughts and left me not a moment in peace. Supposing I were myself to be absorbed in darkness; made one with it?”


"She said something, it sounded to me like “I love you anyway!” She said it very softly and indistinctly, I may not have heard it correctly, perhaps she didn’t say exactly those words. But she threw herself passionately on my neck, held both arms around my neck a little while, even raised herself on tiptoe to reach well up, and stood thus. Afraid that she was forcing herself to show me this tenderness, I merely said “How beautiful you are now!” That was all I said. I stepped back, bumped against the door and walked out backward. She was left standing inside.”


“This is what it’s like to die, I said to myself, and now you’re going to die! I lay thinking about this, that now I was going to die, for a few moments. Then I sit up in bed and ask sternly, ‘Who said I was going to die?’” 
 Knut Hamsun, Hunger, 1890

Sult (1966)
Director: Henning Carlsen
Writers: Henning Carlsen, Peter Seeberg, Knut Hamsun (novel)
Stars: Per Oscarsson, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitte Federspiel
Music: Krzysztof Komeda


Something new is happening here, some new thought about the nature of art is being proposed in Hunger. It is first of all an art that is indistinguishable from the life of the artist who makes it. That is not to say an art of autobiographical excess, but rather, an art that is the direct expression of the effort to express itself. In other words, an art of hunger: an art of need, of necessity, of desire. Certainty yields to doubt, form gives way to process. There can be no arbitrary imposition of order, and yet, more than ever, there is the obligation to achieve clarity. It is an art that begins with the knowledge that there are no right answers. For that reason it becomes essential to ask the right questions. One finds them by living them.
Paul Auster, The Art Of Hunger


2 σχόλια:




  1. Pontus



    I am a battle ground for invisible forces

    I suffered no pain, my hunger had taken the edge off; instead I felt pleasantly empty, untouched by everything around me and happy to be unseen by all. I put my legs up on the bench and leaned back, the best way to feel the true well-being of seclusion. There wasn't a cloud in my mind, nor did I feel any discomfort, and I hadn't a single unfulfilled desire or craving as far as my thought could reach. I lay with open eyes in a state of utter absence from myself and felt deliciously out of it.

    And the great spirit of darkness spread a shroud over me..everything was silent-everything. But upon the heights soughed the everlasting song, the voice of the air, the distant, toneless humming which is never silent

    Truth is neither ojectivity nor the balanced view; truth is a selfless subjectivity.

    A country preacher could not have looked more full of milk and honey than this formidable writer, whose words had always left long bloody marks wherever they fell.

    The heavy red roses smoldering in the foggy morning, blood-colored and uninhibited, made me greedy, and tempted me powerfully to steal one -I asked the prices merely so I could come as near them as possible.

    Small jerks began to appear in my legs, my walk became unsteady precisely because I wanted it to be smooth.

    ''Keep it, keep it!" I answered. "You are very welcome to it!'' It is only a couple of small things, doesn't amount to anything—about everything I own in the world.

    I imagined I had discovered a new word. I rise up in bed and say, "It is not in the language; I have discovered it. 'Kuboa.' It has letters as a word has. By the benign God, Man you have discovered a word!.. 'Kuboa' .. a word of profound import.

    She came quickly over to me and held out her hand. I looked at her full of distrust. Was she doing this freely, with a light heart? Or was she doing it just to get rid of me? She put her arm around my neck, tears in her eyes. I just stood and looked at her. She offered me her mouth but I couldn't believe her, it was bound to be a sacrifice on her part, a means of getting it over with.

    I sat looking at her with rapt attention. My heart was thumping, the blood coursing warmly through my veins. What a wonderful pleasure to be sitting in a human dwelling again, hear a clock ticking, and talk with a lively young girl instead of with myself!
    Why don't you say something?"
    Ah, how sweet you are!" I said. "I'm sitting here getting fascinated by you, at this moment I'm thoroughly fascinated. I can't help it. You are the strangest person that... Sometimes your eyes are so radiant, I've never seen anything like it, they look like flowers. Eh? No, no, maybe not like flowers but... I'm madly in love with you, and it won't do me a bit of good. What's your name? Really, you must tell me what your name is..."
    No, what's your name? Goodness, I almost forgot again! I was thinking all day yesterday that I must ask you. Well, that is, not all day yesterday, I certainly didn't think about you all day yesterday."
    Do you know what I've called you? I have called you Ylajali. How do you like it? Such a gliding sound-"
    Ylajali?"
    Yes."
    Is it a foreign language?"
    Hmm. No, it's not."
    Well, it isn't ugly.”



    Knut Hamsun / Hunger / 1890



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1HMw4Xw4KU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT-V5edWn-A
    Sult / 1966 / dir. Henning Carlsen


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  2. Όποιος απέτυχε, όποιος ξεπέσει
    τι δύσκολο να μάθει της πενίας
    την νέα γλώσσα και τους νέους τρόπους.

    Εις τ’ άθλια ξένα σπίτια πώς θα πάει! —
    με τι καρδιά θα περπατεί στον δρόμο
    κι όταν στην πόρτα εμπρός βρεθεί πού θά ’βρει
    την δύναμι ν’ αγγίξει το κουδούνι.
    Για του ψωμιού την ποταπήν ανάγκη
    και για την στέγη, πώς θα ευχαριστήσει!
    Πώς θ’ αντικρίσει τες ματιές τες κρύες
    που θα τον δείχνουνε που είναι βάρος!
    Τα χείλη τα υπερήφανα πώς τώρα
    θ’ αρχίσουν να ομιλούνε ταπεινά·
    και το υψηλό κεφάλι πώς θα σκύψει!
    Τα λόγια πώς θ’ ακούσει που ξεσκίζουν
    τ’ αυτιά με κάθε λέξι — κ’ εν τοσούτω
    πρέπει να κάμνεις σαν να μην τα νιώθεις
    σαν να ’σαι απλούς και δεν καταλαμβάνεις.



    Κωνσταντίνος Π. Καβάφης / Όποιος Απέτυχε / 1894 / Κρυμμένα Ποιήματα

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