sábado, julho 11, 2015

Heaven and Hell, by Jón Kalmar Stefánsson

One of the things I enjoy doing while travelling abroad is to buy local books and get to know something of a country's literature. So, I bought a few Icelandic books in Reykjavik, and started with this one.

It's a good book, about life in a harsh place, growing up, dealing with death and learning to live. And I like I can visualize the places and understand it better after having been there; before, I had no idea Iceland was such a harsh place in terms of climate, I knew it was cold, but had not felt the wind or seen the savage barrenness of the lava fields or the rugged mountains. It's very interesting how there is a kind of "tone" to several of the Nordic authors I've read so far - reading Stefánsson reminded me somehow of the rhythm of Knut Hamsun, Casper Jensen, Peter Hoeg or Willem Moberg; this particular "tone" was one of the main reasons I started learning Swedish, I would like one day to be able to read it in the original. It sounds kind of austerely poetic, cannot put it in another way.

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