Published Today 11:54
Jón Kalman Stefánsson is one of Iceland’s most esteemed authors.
Keflavik used to be the earthly hell for American soldiers. It was considered a punishment commanding to end up at the military base west of Reyjkavik. The base closed in 2006, but the black lava fields and wiped out fishing quotas allow Jón Kalman Stefánsson like to use infernal metaphors when describing the society in which he lived.
The “Fishermen have no feet” he returns to the themes that have made him one of the modern Icelandic literature’s most respected names. Two childhood friends converge in childhood town of Keflavik, giving rise to the contemplation of families’ once in a country where everyone seems to be more or less related. There is a lot about fish. Iceland has always been a lot of fish, next to the latest time when it acted more about skumraskig speculation and financial crises. Stefánsson is not gracious in modern Icelandic political tours is mentioned.
But it does not happen very often. “The fishermen have no feet” is above all a family story that turns to and fro in the 1900s with a main ledge in the early 1980s Keflavik. As it is usually in Stefánsson – and which he convincingly showed in the so-called “trilogy about a boy” – steps a variety of peculiar characters through the pages.
A dear theme Thus, the fishing industry, and with it comes masculinity. The masculinity which means that the maximum kompetente and respected fisherman and captain Oddur lose almost all respect as he learns to swim in order to save the life if he goes overboard. Not to mention the last league artifice to take up space on the ship with a buoy and a lifeboat. For women, this masculinity that one must adapt to a life under threat and in the shade, or go under.
It is a very live Stefansson Island evokes. No wonder he’s getting used to represent their country when the nominations for the Nordic Council Literature Prize large preached. With this novel, he has been nominated four times. I am captivated by his intense search for human entirety and truth. But I have always had enormous difficulty for his overheated imagery, which often mix in God and His angels, heaven and hell, freedom and human – big word overused and therefore eroded in meaning when they arrive one by one all around to signal fervor. The border with drivel exceeded little too often. If you stand out with things so I can probably even come to love this novel.
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