The Transgressive Narratives of Hamsun's In Wonderland


  • Peter Fjågesund Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge



In wonderland, travel literature, first-person narrators, Lermontov


The article focuses on the transgressive quality of Hamsun’s In Wonderland, that is on the book’s variety of literary genres and narrative techniques, and on the narrator’s equally transgressive presentation of himself. To examine these qualities more specifically, the paper discusses to what extent Hamsun’s travelogue is indebted to the novel that, according to Martin Nag, was essential for Hamsun’s journey to the Caucasus, namely Mikhail Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time(1840). This will include an investigation of similarities of genre as well as similarities between Lermontov’s protagonist Pechorin and the narrator in In Wonderland, both of whom are discussed in relation to the Russian tradition of so-called “superfluous men”.

Author Biography

Peter Fjågesund, Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

Peter Fjågesund, Professor of British Literature and Civilisation, University of South-Eastern Norway. Latest publications: The Dream of the North: A Cultural History to 1920 (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2014); “Time in The Rainbow and Women in Love: From Organic Flow to Mechanical Jam”, in Études Lawrenciennes (2017); «British Perceptions of Nordic Peripheries: An Historical Survey», in Scandinavica (2017); “D.H. Lawrence between the Relative and the Absolute: From Religion and Science to Art and Life”, in Études Lawrenciennes (2020).


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How to Cite

Fjågesund, Peter. 2020. “/I>”;. Nordlit, no. 47 (December):93-105.