VictoriaVictoria by Knut Hamsun
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

you would think i would have sopped this thing up with a hunk of bread: doomed lovers, the impossibility of communication, the way we hurt the ones we love? that should have karen’s stamp of approval all over it.

but it’s like hamsun took a great idea for literary exploration and then constructed this wooden fence all around the emotional appeal and said “you are not coming in!” and i’m like, “dude, come on – just let me care about the characters a little bit.” and hamsun’s all “no way, josé .” so i shrugged and went away.

i only read this because it is used in one of the most emotionally wrenching scenes in the kjaerstad trilogy, so you would think this would also drip with melancholy goo. not so.

it’s good, it is just more restrained in its writing than what i usually go for in this type of narrative. i’ve read two other books by him, so it’s not like i was expecting heaving bosoms and passionate speeches, but i just couldn’t find anything to grab onto. they all kind of act like bratty teenagers, whose emotions flail up and down and then end in eye-pokings. it would be comical if it wasn’t also so sad.

but the bottom line, and this is the bottom line in many books by my beloved thomas hardy as well: why don’t you just talk to each other? without lying?? it would just make everyone happier in the end.

that is my lesson to characters everywhere, and it is my advice to you on the internet. go forth.

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