'Sult' and the transnational literary history of hunger

  • Frederike Felcht
Trefwoorden: Hunger in literature, naturalism, modernism, Hamsun, Zola, Sult, Le Ventre de Paris, crisis of representation


This contribution discusses Knut Hamsun's Sult (1890) from a transnational perspective, referring to the history of hunger and the depiction of hunger in French Naturalism. It takes Timothy Wientzen's (2015) argument about the politics of hunger in Sult as the starting point for a critical discussion, and reflects on the relationship between hunger strikes and political collectives. Furthermore, it points to parallels between Sult and Zola's Le ventre de Paris (1873) in the problematization of political organization and, finally, compares the narrative structures of both texts.