Culture
Books
Get Your Read On: Sjón & Jón Gnarr

Get Your Read On: Sjón & Jón Gnarr

Published October 5, 2017

A couple of modern classics that you can pick up translated to English at a good Amazon website near you.

Jón Gnarr – The Pirate
In this second volume of comedian and former mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr’s bleakly hysterical autobiographical writing, the scene is set for Reykjavík in the early eighties. At the outset, Jón is still in school, struggling under an education system with no concept of things such as dyslexia and ADHD, with most of his teachers simply assuming that he is—in the parlance of the time—retarded. After several unsuccessful forays into the job market, he finally finds his place among the young punks of Hlemmur, the Reykjavík transit station and legendary gathering place for the city’s derelicts and outcast kids (until its recent reopening as a gourmet food hall, that is). There, he discovers bands like Crass and Discard and finds solace in the anarchistic writings of Prince Kropotkin. Despite the book’s humorous narration, it also contains an undertone of fury against the faceless systems of society.

Sjón – The Whispering Muse
Valdimar Haraldsson, a peevish elderly academic obsessed with the connection between the obvious superiority of the Nordic race and a heavy pescetarian diet, is invited by a benefactor to partake in a cruise on the Black Sea with the Danish merchant vessel MS Elisabet Jung-Olsen. On board, he is introduced to the ship’s misfit crew, including the first mate Caeneus, who, it turns out, was one of the famed Argonauts, in search of the Golden Fleece. Night after night, the first mate regales the crew with his tales of the voyage and his later adventures. However, it soon appears that there are many more legends at play, as the various threads of the tale combine folklore from across the world into a Campbellian vortex. In the cantankerous voice of Valdimar Harladsson, Sjón has found the perfect counterbalance to Caenus’s Old Qfwfq-like narration, breathing new life into the strange myths.

Read more about Icelandic literature here.


Culture
Books
The Reykjavík Writer: Bragi Ólafsson’s ‘Narrator’ Published By Open Letter Books

The Reykjavík Writer: Bragi Ólafsson’s ‘Narrator’ Published By Open Letter Books

by

This August marks the publication of “Narrator,” Bragi Ólafsson’s third novel on the English language market. As with “The Pets”

Culture
Books
Trapped In A Narrative: New Book On The Guðmundur And Geirfinnur Case Released In The UK

Trapped In A Narrative: New Book On The Guðmundur And Geirfinnur Case Released In The UK

by

For most Icelanders, the names Guðmundur and Geirfinnur have immediate connotations. In January and November of 1974, these two seemingly

Culture
Books
The Fact of Fiction: 
“Woman at 1,000 Degrees” Published In English

The Fact of Fiction: 
“Woman at 1,000 Degrees” Published In English

by

Though the Icelandic Christmas book season is over, the next few months mark the release of many Icelandic translations into

Culture
Books
Get Your Read On: Snare & Whiteout

Get Your Read On: Snare & Whiteout

by

It’s winter. Don’t go out. It’s disgusting out there. Turn up the radiators and read one of these. Snare –

Culture
Books
The Eagle and the Falcon: Fantasy Of A Nazi-Occupied Iceland

The Eagle and the Falcon: Fantasy Of A Nazi-Occupied Iceland

by

The tapestry of Icelandic writing in the 21st century is an ever expanding one. This is largely because although most

Culture
Books
The Book Flood Cometh: Iceland’s ‘Jólabókaflóð’ Arrives Once Again

The Book Flood Cometh: Iceland’s ‘Jólabókaflóð’ Arrives Once Again

by

The Icelandic Yuletide is a time for two things: Reading and eating—and you can only do so much eating. Every

Show Me More!