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Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Pan: From Lieutenant Thomas Glahn's Papers (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) + Mysteries (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) + Victoria (Penguin Classics)
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Reprint edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141180676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141180670
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Norwegian

About the Author

Nobel Prize winner Knut Hamsun (1858–1952) worked as a laborer in both Scandinavia and America before establishing himself as a successful playwright and novelist.


Sverre Lyngstad, the preeminent scholar of Norwegian literature, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Sverre Lyngstad, the preeminent scholar of Norwegian literature, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


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Customer Reviews

I sat up all night, reading the whole story.
Tsuyoshi
Pan* is a fierce and bittersweet tale of the impossibility of love and, alas, the impossibility of leaving it behind.
Mark Nadja
This is a lyrical, beautiful novella in the most hated sense of the word.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Smith VINE VOICE on June 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
Pan begins as a nature story - detailed, lush, knowledgeable descriptions of nature, of living a solitary existence, of feeding off the forest and sea. Phrases such as "there was a sweet sulphurous smell from the old leaves rotting in the woods" lull the reader into an expectation of a pastoral romance novel. This is anything but. It is, rather, an exploration of the relationship of the solitary Lt. Glahn with two women in particular and society in general. Lt. Glahn is socially inept and impulsive. The two women? One is servile and unavailable; the other, more interested in the power of the chase than the capture. The resulting story is an intriguing study of human emotions, of motivation and of the honesty of self-revelation. An excellent book by an excellent author.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By M. JEFFREY MCMAHON TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 28, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pan is a short, terse, novel about a reclusive "wild" man, Lieutenant Thomas Glahn, gifted with sexual charisma who idealizes nature and himself but is blind to his arrested development, his cruelty, and his enslavement to his own compulsive actions, which, as the novel progresses, have tragic consequences. By showing the disparity between Glahn's perception of himself, which is rather romantic and lofty, with the "other" Glahn, the uncouth, abrasive one who clashes with other people, Knut Hamsun succeeds in writing an ambiguous, mysterious fable about the conflict between solitude and civilization, and how the "self" cannot be defined in its isolated state.

For an updated theme of the man being taken over by his inner beast, check out James Lasdun's modern masterpiece The Horned Man.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Frank-Tommy Olsen on December 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
Knut Hamsun has been called the father of modern fiction. First published in 1894, Pan is a perfect, beautifully written novel. The words, the construction, the atmosphere, like a long poem, where not a line nor punctuation could have been done differently. As thousands of readers before me and surely thousands that will come after me, I totally admire this wonderful little book, and I don`t know how many times I have read and re-read it, both in Norwegian and in English. This is a book not to be missed by anyone with a desire to read good literature.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Knut Hamsun won the Nobel Prize in 1920 after writing The Growth of the Soil, but his earliest novels are his finest, with Pan as the pinnacle of his career. In Hunger (his first) and Mysteries (his second), Hamsun is still playing with his ideas, and while these novels fascinate, they leave the reader with a somewhat rambling, directionless feeling. In Pan, Hamsun has perfected his craft. Pan is one of the finest novels in any language and it is a shame that more English-speaking people are not familiar with his work. Forget what you heard about him being a Nazi sympathizer in the 1930's. He got suckered into the anti-industrialist, pro-agrarian philosophies of the Nazis and probably was just a tool of their propaganda artists. Hamsun is worth the read. If you haven't become familiar with his work, you'll be doing yourself a favor by reading Pan.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a lyrical, beautiful novella in the most hated sense of the word. It is absolutely overwrought, emotive, undone and adolescent, and that is what makes this story and the lieutenant at its center wonderful.
If you can't accept a marriage of 19th century pomp and the truly modern -- if [stated another way] you really must put on airs, steer cleer of Hamsun. If on the other hand you can lower your brow and smile, secure in your own intellectual prowess and unthreatened by self-consciously exquisite prose and a manipulative story... then read on. You'll find no better.
I certainly enjoyed it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "lily_d" on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
The beauty and uniqueness of Hamsun's work is often overlooked as a consequence of his Nazi sympathizing. Although I don't dismiss the significance of his support for the Third Reich, dismissing his writing is a tragedy, for he is one of the most gifted writers I have ever come across. I debated which Hamsun novel to recommend, as I'm a fan of many (including "Hunger", "Victoria", "Mysteries" and "Women at the Pump" among others), but chose "Pan" if only to offer the added recommendation that you seek out the recent movie "Two Green Feathers" based on the novel. "Pan" is a beautiful, brilliant, eccentric little novel...I suspect that many readers who pick up a Hamsun novel will end up (like myself) with a shelf full of multiple editions of his work, much loved and oft-read.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
I sat up all night, reading the whole story. This tale about a lonely, self-destructive man in Norway, who happens to meet a young girl and starts to love her, looks like "Wuthering Heights" written by Virginia Woolf. Introspective, but not too much "stream of consciousness" that might make you bored. Basically a love story and tradegy, it is an absorbing story; sometimes very violent, but surely it touches the innermost recess of most unaccountable aspects of humans'
heart: passion of love and hate. Still, beware; sometimes its violence sounds like "Takeshi" films and sexual nuance is always there, though much less than DH Lawrence.
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