Hunger – The story that made me cry

by juliusmsanz

I meant to write this yesterday, but a migraine prevented me from doing so.Hunger

Hunger is a story written by Knut Hamsun, published in 1890. It deals with a young man struggling to survive and with his decaying mind and problems. I will try to avoid spoilers and instead focus on why this story, the only one ever to do so, made me cry.

This story could very well be the tale of any aspiring writer, struggling with what to write and without any other source of income, refusing to accept that one cannot live on art alone. But that’s not what’s so harsh about it, it’s not only about his despairing thoughts, it’s not about his tentative pride or even about his problems connecting and dealing with others.

I have been hungry in the past, on several occasions I had nothing to eat for over 24 hours and I know it takes its toll on the mind and body. It’s a despair inducing situation. I was lucky enough to have a roof over my head, but I felt the agonizing pain of having nothing in my stomach. And when I ate something, I knew nothing at that time, I felt even worse. I can relate to this character on other levels, but the other main focus is pride. I’m, unfortunately, a very proud individual and tend to refuse help from others no matter how much that can improve my life. So I cried, I cried hard when (and here are some spoilers for you) the main character kept trying to eat despite vomiting everything afterwards. I felt his pain, his despair, everything. And although I never came close to those extreme situations, I was completely moved by the raw scenario.

Hunger is a raw book, it’s dark, it’s not for everyone, not only in terms of the seriousness of the situations but also in terms of feelings.

That being said Hunger is also a gem, a priceless story that is hard to replicate, unless you go through these types of scenarios. The author experienced it, and this story is almost a retelling of his experience when he went to America for a while.

I highly recommend that you give it a read, for you won’t find many with this quality.

Up next is a haiku or a quote, still giving it some thought.

Have a nice day!