On Overgrown Paths was written after World War II, at a time when Hamsun was in police custody for his openly expressed Nazi sympathies during the German occupation of Norway, 1940-45. A Nobel laureate deeply beloved by his countrymen, Hamsun was now reviled as a traitor - as long as his sanity was not called into question. However, the psychiatric report declared him to be sane, but concluded that his mental faculties were "permanently impaired." This conclusion was emphatically refuted by the publication, in 1949, of On Overgrown Paths, Hamsun's apologia. In its creative elan, this book, filled with the proud sorrow of an old man, miraculously recalls the spirit of Hamsun's early novels, with their reverence for nature, absurdist humor, and quirky flights of fancy.