Books: Old Man

LOOK BACK ON HAPPINESS — Knut Hamsun—Coward-McCann ($2.50).

In his essence, the "I" who tells Look Back On Happiness is 79-year-old Knut Hamsun himself, as fierce and fine an old man as ever declined to batten on the adulation of fools. And his novel is less a novel than a devoutly unpretentious rec ord of things he values, or despises.

He values, as he has valued all his life, bare nature itself, and human living inter locked with nature. He despises, as he has for years, what he summarizes as "the modern spirit in Norway" (read "the world") and to the "little upstart...

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