knig's Reviews > The Ice Palace

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas
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's review
Oct 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: dream-like

This is the kind of book (goes down pat in under two hours, btw), where the reviews will utilise more lyrical lingua than actually sourced in the text: it is that sparse and economical with its prose. Written as if for children but with a message no child will understand, it invokes long forgotten memories of Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’ and ‘The Little Match Girl’ (the ONLY tale, apart from Wildes ‘The Happy Prince’ which ever made me cry....and still does, even though now that I’m older and wiser it may be more of a Pavlovian response).

There is something about Scandinavians and snow: they do it like no one else on this earth: to describe the Ice Palace a la Andersen/Grimm/Vesaas mode requires more than just raw imagination: it takes perhaps a lifetime of a soul hued with the ice of the unforgiving Nordic North to be able to render it so profoundly.
And of course, the long, dark winters (the sun never rises for three months on end up there) are the perfect catalyst for a corresponding séance of depression and all the morbid, macabre mental flares that end up in informing so much of Scandinavian literature. I think.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 21, 2011 – Shelved
October 26, 2011 – Shelved as: dream-like

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