Notes from the psychoanalysis of Knut Hamsun

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During the psychoanalysis of Knut Hamsun, notes were made by his psychoanalyst, Johannes Irgens Strømme; sometimes the notes are referred to as the Strømme/Hamsun manuscript (Norwegian: Strømme/Hamsun-manuset).

Hamsun died in 1952 and copies of the notes were published in 2017; the publication is controversial (as of 2017).[1]:9-15[2]

The existence of the notes led to a race between a group related to [the community of persons who do] research [for a living,] and a group related to publishing.[1]:9

Danish author Thorkild Hansen (en:) has said that the notes must certainly be viewed as [an] extremely important source.[1]:10

Media sometimes refers to (as of May 2017,) the notes as "the classified notes".[1]:9

Description[change | change source]

The notes consist of 474 pages.[1]:10

The notes were written in one version of shorthand, called Gabelsberger.[1]:10

Psychoanalysis; non-voluntary psychiatry during the Legal purge in Norway after World War II[change | change source]

In 1925, Hamsun had writer's block, and "he could not write a sentence".[1]:10 To go to consultations, at a specialist of psychoanalysis [was a voluntary decision by Hamsun]; he went to Johannes Irgens Strømme(no:Johannes Irgens Strømme no:) - who had been a student of Oskar Pfister(en:Oskar Pfister en:) - from 4 January 1926. [1]:10 During a two year period, Hamsun made visits to Strømme; Hamsun would lie on a divan [or a couch-like sitting furniture] while being psychoanalyzed, and Strømme would sit (on a chair) behind Hamsun.[3]

In 1926 the writer's block eased, and the year after he published the novel Wayfarers; He thanked the psychoanalyst "for the rest of Hamsun's life", for getting back his apetite for writing. [1]:10

Non-voluntary psychiatry[change | change source]

During the Legal purge in Norway after World War II(en:Legal purge in Norway after World War II en:) , Hamsun was examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist - without Hamsun giving permission for the examinations; [part of the diagnosis ] of Hamsun said that he had [a permanent reduction of sanity ] varig svekkede sjelsevner; to disprove and discredit the diagnosis, Hamsun wrote On Overgrown Paths(en:On Overgrown Paths en:) (published in 1949); [1]:10

Storage of the notes[change | change source]

The notes by psychoanalyst Strømme, were [years later] "left to" a friend (of the psychoanalyst) - Ørnulf Myklestad; this friend was also the publisher of works by the psychoanalyst; [1]:10

On a document dated 1958, Myklestad wrote that he would not do anything while Hamsun's widow was alive; the notes were put in safe deposit box (at a bank); [1]:10

Out of the safe deposit box, the notes came in the autumn of 1978; [1]:10

The daughter of psychoanalyst Strømme had the shorthand notes, transferred to her. [1]:11

Interpreting and transcribing the notes[change | change source]

The stenographied notes were [borrowed] by [publishing house] Gyldendal(en:Gyldendal en:) for more than two months; Gyldendal returned the notes [together with a letter dated] 18 January 1979; "with the help of a stenographer employed by Norway's parliament", Gyldendal was able to interpret 30 pages of the shorthand notes, and Gyldendal transcribed those (in 1979); [in the letter, the female stenographer said that more] deciphering could be achieved - but it probably would take years and it would be expensive.[1]:12

Attempts at publication (of psychoanalysis)[change | change source]

The interest in the notes regarding Hamsun, reached a climax [or top point] in 2001, when several groups [of people] wanted to use the notes. [1]:10

A letter was sent - sometime before 2 April 2001 - from the national library, to the Ministry of Justice, regarding the library's [idea] to publicize the [notes regarding the] psychoanalysis ([that was] performed by Strømme); the notes were to be publicized together with comments from literary scientists and psychoanalysts; the project was to be led by Atle Kittang(en:Atle Kittang en:) - an expert (on research regarding Hamsun) and a professor of literature. [1]:10

Media wrote about the letter; psychiatrist Sigmund Karterud(no:Sigmund Karterud no:) said (on 2 July) that psychiatrists [as a group] are shocked;[1]:10 However, the spokesman for the Hamsun family - Leif Hamsun (a grandchild of Knut Hamsun) - said that the project was not problematic.[1]:10

Project by publishing house Gyldendal; the stopping of a project by "the national library"[change | change source]

At the same time, a major[1]:10 project was started by Gyldendal: Ingar Sletten Kolloen(en:Ingar Sletten Kolloen en:) was [expected] to write a significant biography about Hamsun; a group of people were put together by Kolloen [to help him]: members of the group included literary scientists and experts of psychoanalysis; the group included psychiatrist Sigmund Karterud(no:Sigmund Karterud no:); [1]:10

The national library cancelled plans to publish the psychoanalysis notes, media said on 23 September 2001; furthermore, Kolloen was granted access to the psychoanalysis notes, because of Gyldendal's plans for him to write a biography (about Hamsun); [1]:10

Publication[change | change source]

Notes from Hamsun's psychoanalyst, were published in 2017; the photocopied notes were from [Hamsun's appointments] with his psychoanalyst; the published notes were part of [a work of] art that was published in Vagant(no:Vagant (tidsskrift) no:) [a magazine].[1]:9[2]

The publication of the psychoanalyst's notes regarding Hamsun, is controversial (as of 2017).[1]:9-15[2]

In 2017 Morgenbladet(en:Morgenbladet en:) asked "Why at all, are the notes owned by the public".[1]:10

Current possession by "the national library"; change of status permitting publication[change | change source]

The notes are deposited (as of 2017) at ["the national library" -] Nasjonalbiblioteket in Oslo, Norway;[1]:10 they are part of a package,[1]:10 [that the national library calls] manus 4°3565.

The "national library" (when it was called Universitetsbiblioteket) received the notes, as a gift from the daughter of psychoanalyst Strømme. [1]:11

Status permitting publication[change | change source]

In 1999 the daughter of psychoanalyst Strømme, permitted publication of the notes; previously she had put a clause in place that had prevented publication of the notes; [1]:11

By 2003, no one seems to have discovered [and made use of the general availability of the notes].[1]:12

References[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]