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Mysteries

Knut Hamsun - Author

Sverre Lyngstad - Translator

Sverre Lyngstad - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780141186184 | 352 pages | 01 Jan 2001 | Penguin Classics | 5.11 x 7.75in | 18 - AND UP
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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.
"This is no museum piece redolent with the dust of literary respectability. It is as immediate as last night's dream or nightmare. —The New York Times

Mysteries is closer to me than any other book I have read. —Henry Miller

Never has the Nobel Prize been awarded to one worthier of it. —Thomas Mann