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Icelandic Literature 2014 > 2014 Poll Is Up & Decided!--Iceland

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message 1: by Betty (last edited Dec 20, 2013 10:30PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Find the 2014 Poll results here


message 2: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments The World's Literature in January 2014 is beginning with Iceland's Bell by Halldór Laxness Iceland's Bell. Suggestions for future months' reading are welcome. I'll look over the suggested titles at the library. If your book is selected, then you are the discussion leader for it.


message 3: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments I like Laxness. I read The Fish Can Sing The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness several years ago and really enjoyed it, though it took me about 1/2 the book to figure out he had a sense of humor. He won the Nobel (?) Prize for Independent People Independent People by Halldór Laxness and is probably Iceland's best known author.


message 4: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Maggie, according to several sources, Halldór Laxness was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1955. I am wondering whether Laxness will be the Icelandic author who rivets most of the attention next year on TWL.


message 5: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 155 comments i'm pretty excited about this! i just hope i have a better (more participatory) year in 2014 than 2013. :)


message 6: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke, so far I looked the Laxness books are also on ereader. This is a new part of the world for me, and I want to find out what it's like in stories and place.


message 7: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Asma, one of the nice things about Goodreads being run by Amazon is that when you open up a book it gives you suggestions for similar reading on the sidebar. When I opened The Fish Can Sing it offered me the following which fall in our category, all of which sound interesting: Angels of the Universe Angels of the Universe by Einar Már Guðmundsson ; From the Mouth of the Whale From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón ; 101 Reykjavik 101 Reykjavik by Hallgrímur Helgason ; and The Blue Fox The Blue Fox by Sjón .

It also found a book called The Pets by Bragi Olafsson (the O in Olafsson has a diacritical mark on the capital O). For some reason I can't find it any long here, but the link from Amazon is http://www.amazon.com/Pets-Bragi-Olaf...


message 8: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments That's quite a selection to choose from, Maggie. Um...I'll go check out the two by Sjón Sjón and the two by Halldór Laxness Halldór Laxness .


message 11: by Maggie (last edited Dec 23, 2013 04:21PM) (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Jenny,

Wthe the exception of The Geography of Bliss, which I thought was a C+ book, they all sound very interesting.


message 12: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny wrote: "In Iceland, the government believes in elves!"

A survey in contemporary Iceland points out that 17 percent believe that huldufólk are probable and 33 percent believe that they are possible.


message 13: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny wrote: "Adding a few books for consideration....

From Icelandic authors
Reply to a Letter from Helga
Walking Into the Night

From others but set in Iceland..."


Jenny, I agree with Maggie that they are fantastic choices. The Faraway Nearby is a terrific biography in its own right. Walking into the Night is historical fiction. I'm looking through many of them.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) Maggie wrote: "Jenny,

Wthe the exception of The Geography of Bliss, which I thought was a C+ book, they all sound very interesting."


Yeah it's not far from most "hey I'm a journalist and need a paycheck" books but the chapter on Iceland is what got me interested in the country in the first place! That and all the great music coming from there.


message 15: by Tara (new)

Tara (booksexyreview) | 11 comments I recommend Children in Reindeer Woods by Kristín Ómarsdóttir - by Kristín Ómarsdóttir. It's a strange and eerie book.


message 16: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Tara, I will take a look at Children in Reindeer Woods.


message 17: by Betty (last edited Dec 25, 2013 05:28PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny wrote: "Adding a few books for consideration....

From Icelandic authors
Reply to a Letter from Helga..."


I've been browsing through Reply to...Helga, noticing the Glossary mentions some Icelandic sagas pointed out in the story. It is appropriate to read some sagas during the literary journey through Iceland.


message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue | 306 comments Many interesting choices/possibilities here. I hope I can join you for some of this reading.


message 19: by Bredo (new)

Bredo Erichsen | 1 comments Dear all. I would propose to read a bit saga as a start. Snorres Heimskringla will give you a better background to understand Iceland, its people and its litterature. (As a Norwegian I had to read it in school). I join in for the other books you decide.


message 20: by Lady Bren (new)

Lady Bren (lady_bren) Looking forward to discovering Iceland. Currently my library system doesn't have this book but seeing what I can discover elsewhere. Plus need it to be audiobook.


message 21: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Sue wrote: "Many interesting choices/possibilities here. I hope I can join you for some of this reading."

Look forward to your insights into this part of the world.


message 22: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 155 comments i have The Sagas of Icelanders but have not read it...is this something to read together?


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) Marieke wrote: "i have The Sagas of Icelanders but have not read it...is this something to read together?"

Oh yes please, sounds great!


message 24: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Bredo wrote: "Dear all. I would propose to read a bit saga as a start. Snorres Heimskringla will give you a better background to understand Iceland, its people and its litterature. (As a Norwegian I had to read ..."

Bredo (and all),
The Heimkringla is written in the Icelandic language. I'm new to the history of Iceland, and its translated title makes me wonder whether it is more about Norway and Scandinavia than Iceland, Icelandic (Old Norse) Sagas.


message 25: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Lady wrote: "Looking forward to discovering Iceland. Currently my library system doesn't have this book but seeing what I can discover elsewhere. Plus need it to be audiobook."

Lady Bren, The Saga of the Volsungs is in audiobook.


Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) According to Wikipedia,
"Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Norse heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descended from Old Norse and is closely related to Faroese and some West Norwegian dialects. The country's cultural heritage includes traditional Icelandic cuisine, poetry, and the medieval Icelanders' sagas."

So I wouldn't negate the Old Norse tales right off the bat!


message 27: by Betty (last edited Dec 26, 2013 09:02AM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke wrote: "i have The Sagas of Icelanders but have not read it...is this something to read together?"

Marieke,
I'll take a look at it. (edit: Interesting is that it includes the Vinland Saga which takes the story to the New World.)


message 28: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny wrote: "Marieke wrote: "i have The Sagas of Icelanders but have not read it...is this something to read together?"

Oh yes please, sounds great!"


Jenny, there are separate sagas as well:
Icelandic Saga Database;
Icelanders' Sagas.


message 29: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments I've ordered Iceland's Bell from the library. Won't be able to start it for a few days though.


message 30: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 155 comments Maybe we could have a section for Sagas and people can share and discuss, but read somewhat independently, since there are many options?
I've meant to read my copy of Sagas of the Icelanders forever, so i'm thinking of reading it through the whole year. It would be great to jump into secondary reads and participate in general discussion with everyone. maybe?


message 31: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 155 comments I'm really excited for this, btw...i have not read much from Iceland, despite having been somewhat obsessed with the place since i first flew to Germany via Iceland Air and became bewitched by the landscape...


message 32: by Betty (last edited Dec 26, 2013 09:42AM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Maggie wrote: "I've ordered Iceland's Bell from the library. Won't be able to start it for a few days though."

:) A bell to herald in the New Year and the study of Iceland and its literature.


message 33: by Betty (last edited Dec 26, 2013 10:00AM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke wrote: "Maybe we could have a section for Sagas and people can share and discuss, but read somewhat independently, since there are many options?
I've meant to read my copy of Sagas of the Icelanders foreve..."


Of course, there are several compilations of sagas as well as individual books. I do intend to look through your suggestion, The Sagas of Icelanders, in a hardcopy edition.

Regarding nonfiction, there's Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas, not as long as the above and not the sagas but highly praised.


message 34: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke wrote: "I'm really excited for this, btw...i have not read much from Iceland, despite having been somewhat obsessed with the place since i first flew to Germany via Iceland Air and became bewitched by the ..."

Fine memories, yes. May many more of them be forthcoming!


message 35: by Marieke (new)

Marieke | 155 comments Asma wrote: "Regarding nonfiction, there's Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas, not as long as the above and not the sagas but highly praised. "

excellent! i have added it. it looks like a great supplement for reading alongside some sagas. :)


message 36: by Betty (last edited Dec 26, 2013 02:31PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke wrote: "...i have added it. it looks like a great supplement for reading alongside some sagas. :)..."

Marieke, the descriptive, illustrated Icelanders in the Viking Age... is about the society which produced the sagas during the era of Old Icelandic vernacular. Knowing about Icelandic daily life then works well alongside sagas.


message 37: by Betty (last edited Dec 26, 2013 03:44PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments The first three months of readings are:
January, Iceland's Bell, discussion leader Asma;
February, The Fish Can Sing, discussion leader Maggie;
March, Reply to a Letter from Helga, discussion leader Jenny Colvin.



message 38: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Yikes. Luckily I should have time to lead the discussion in Feb. otherwise I'd need you to reschedule me.


message 39: by Gaijinmama (new)

Gaijinmama | 2 comments As a longtime lurker I am glad that this topic brough me out of hiding!
Iceland...how cool (no pun intended)! A whole part of the world I've had no contact with, and quite a few of these books sound really fascinating.


message 40: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Maggie wrote: "Yikes. Luckily I should have time to lead the discussion in Feb. otherwise I'd need you to reschedule me."

Maggie, I am glad that you will be able to lead the discussion of it.


message 41: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Gaijinmama wrote: "As a longtime lurker I am glad that this topic brough me out of hiding!
Iceland...how cool (no pun intended)! A whole part of the world I've had no contact with, and quite a few of these books soun..."


Gaijinmama, it's nice meeting you.


message 42: by Gaijinmama (new)

Gaijinmama | 2 comments Asma wrote: "Gaijinmama wrote: "As a longtime lurker I am glad that this topic brough me out of hiding!
Iceland...how cool (no pun intended)! A whole part of the world I've had no contact with, and quite a few ..."


Thanks Asma. I'm always happy to break the ice...(pun intended this time!)


message 43: by Jenny (Reading Envy) (last edited Dec 28, 2013 07:36PM) (new)

Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) I can't resist the languages of the countries we visit. For a fun little exercise, watch this video of the Top 50 Female names, and try to decide what your name might be (Male version also available. I think Inga is probably close to Jenny. Knowing the common names in Iceland is more important than in most countries, because there is a law that you can't name a child anything not on the official name registry.

Interestingly... Icelandic and Turkish seem to share a softer mid-mouth aspirated "r" sound when it is at the end of the word. It took me weeks to get that even close to right with my Turkish language friend!


message 44: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 177 comments Jenny, I couldn't get it to play, but it gave me the list and I'm #5--Margret.


message 45: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny wrote: "I can't resist the languages of the countries we visit. For a fun little exercise, watch this video of the Top 50 Female names, and try to decide what your name might be (Male version also availab..."

Fun and oddly frustrating because I was trying to fit Asma into the naming conventions of Icelanders.


message 46: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Excerpt from "A Postcard from Iceland" in The Haw Lantern The Haw Lantern by Seamus Heaney by Seamus Heaney Seamus Heaney
As I dipped to test the stream some yards away
From a hot spring, I could hear nothing
But the whole mud-slick muttering and boiling.

And then my guide behind me saying,
'Lukewarm. And I think you'd want to know
That luk was an old Icelandic word for hand.'

...
I'm going to take the guide's and poet's words for the meaning of luk but the poem's intention, if you were to read the next stanza, then describes the physical sensation of water in his palm, "...when the inner palm of water found my palm."


message 47: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Jenny (Reading Envy) wrote: "According to Wikipedia,
"Icelandic culture is founded upon the nation's Norse heritage. Most Icelanders are descendants of Norse and Gaelic settlers. Icelandic, a North Germanic language, is descen..."


I'm hoping that in the coming year, I'll become knowledgeable about the literary and historical connections between Iceland and Norway, Denmark, Greenland, and North America. There will be plenty of sagas and tales to come.


message 48: by Betty (last edited Jan 09, 2014 03:35PM) (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments Marieke wrote: "Maybe we could have a section for Sagas and people can share and discuss, but read somewhat independently, since there are many options?
I've meant to read my copy of Sagas of the Icelanders foreve..."


The The Sagas of Icelanders with Jane Smiley's Preface consists of "eleven sagas and six shorter tales". I don't see the Grettir saga about the Outlaw in the contents, so it is a separate, popular saga about Iceland to read this year just before reading the Smiley-preface edition of multiple sagas. I'm guessing that there are forty-nine plus sagas available in translation, so it is conceivable that someone might develop a penchant to pick up another saga. The two books of famous sagas being planned for 2014 are an excellent place to start.


message 49: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments The following blog might come in handy for present and/or future readers of Halldór Laxness, "LAXNESS IN TRANSLATION.


message 50: by Betty (new)

Betty (olderthan18) | 3657 comments What composes Icelandic cuisine?


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