Rehabilitated: Norwegian Nobel Prize winner who fell for Hitler





All this week, Norway is feting a writer who was lucky to escape being shot for his shameless collaboration with the Nazis. Knut Hamsun was either, according to taste, one of the greatest figures in world literature, or a vile old man with a head full of nasty ideas who betrayed his country.

Not many years ago, anyone who went into a Norwegian bookshop and asked for one of Hamsun's books was likely to get a frosty reply from across the counter. And yet he was, to be blunt, the only world-renowned novelist that country has yet produced.

This week, the town of Hamaroey, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, where Hamsun grew up, has been celebrating six consecutive "Hamsundagene" (Hamsun Days), with seminars, meetings and exhibitions dedicated to the writer, to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth.



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