Charles Paul Freund on Fascism and the Avant-Garde



Al Pacino has withdrawn from a Danish stage version of Knut Hamsun's novel, Hunger, after learning that the Norwegian Nobel prize-winning author had been an ardent supporter of Nazi Germany. The move dismayed some of Hamsun's defenders, but it's also a reminder of the appalling state of intellectual life during the rise of fascism. So many writers and thinkers embraced fascism in those years, writes Charles Paul Freund, that they constituted what came to be called a "fascist foreign legion."