Photo: Ernst Furuhatt/Courtesy Steven Holl Architects.
The Knut Hamsun Centre commemorates Norway’s most famous novelist, sometimes attributed as the father of the modern novel and inspiration to the likes of Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, HG Wells and Isaac Bashevis Singer. As an octogenarian, however, Hamsun vocalized his support of the Nazi party and repeatedly spoke out in favor of Germany during its occupation of Norway during World War II, even calling Hitler “a warrior for mankind” in the obituary he wrote for the Chancellor in the nation’s Evening Post. Unsurprisingly, many Norwegians have found it hard to separate Hamsun’s politics from his creative oeuvre, and the museum memorializing his life’s work is unlikely to fade into oblivious anytime soon.
The new Knut Hamsun Centre in situ. Photo: Ernst Furuhatt/Courtesy Steven Holl Architects.