London: Leonard Smithers, 1899. First Edition. Wrappers. 1st edition in English of the Nobel Laureate’s masterpiece. Original wrappers, small nick to upper back cover, some handling wear, a few creases, else very good, complete, and unrepaired. Copies in cloth are out there, those in wrappers are not (1 copy in wrappers listed in RBH’s auction records in the last 85 years and that sale was 29 years ago). First published (1890) in Norwegian as Sult and first translated into English here by Mary Dunne under the pseudonym George Edgerton. Very good. Item #923
Hunger is an autobiographical novel about a destitute writer living in Oslo on a constant search for nourishment, a prototype for later novels of alienation, poverty, and loneliness. It’s a descendant of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (1866), and is remarkable for its psychological maturity, and focus on the main character’s sanity while highlighting a series of irrational and nervous acts of self–destruction. The book is among the foundations of modern, literature, influencing 2 generations of authors but most easily noticed in the works of Franz Kafka, Thomas Mann, Henry Miller, Herman Hesse, and Ernest Hemingway.