Picture of author.

Thórbergur Thórðarson (1888–1974)

Teoksen The stones speak tekijä

42 teosta 83 jäsentä 3 arvostelua 1 Favorited

Tietoja tekijästä

Thordarson was something of a drifter in his youth until he was given a place at the University of Iceland in 1913, where he began to find himself and grew interested in the language and folk culture of Iceland. He devoted himself to "word collecting" for a while, which meant further wandering, but näytä lisää became interested in mysticism and the supernatural, as well as in social problems, all of which became elements in his work. His essays A Letter to Laura (1924) created a stir on publication and had an influence on Halldor Kiljan Laxness. Many of Thordarson's works are either biographical or autobiographical and display an irreverent humor and a puckish wit. Perhaps the foremost example of this genre is the six-volume work The All-Too-Wise (1940--41), a mixture of tall tales, superstition, and humor posing as the biography of Reverend Arni Thordarsson. (Bowker Author Biography) näytä vähemmän
Image credit: © S. Fischer Verlag GmbH Frankfurt am Main

Tekijän teokset

The stones speak (2012) 8 kappaletta
Edda 5 kappaletta
Í Unuhúsi (1990) 4 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Íslenskur a∂all (1938) 3 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu
Í Suðursveit 3 kappaletta
Bréf til Láru 3 kappaletta
Þegar ég varð óléttur (2006) 3 kappaletta
OFVITINN 3 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla




Fljótlega upp úr aldamótum gisti Stefán skáld frá Hvítadal í svokölluðu Unuhúsi sem var gistiheimili í Reykjavík. Una bauð ódýrasta kostinn og fæðið, lánaði kostgöngurum og sló þá jafnóðum um lán til að láta enda ná saman. Hjá henni gisti fólk sem yfirleitt var í kröggum og hún sá aumur á. Sem von er var nokkuð um drykkjufólk, vændiskonu(r) og fleiri sem voru búnir að missa fótanna. Una sá gjarnan aumur á þeim og vildi rétta þeim hjálparhönd.
Með Þórbergi og Stefáni tókst vinskapur og svo fór að sá fyrrnefndi fékk að skrifa upp lýsingar Stefáns af lífinu í Unuhúsi og gaf þær síðar út.
Fínasta lesning og stíllinn skemmtilega grípandi.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
The farmstead of Hali, in Suðursveit, is about five hours' drive east of Reykjavík, but it feels like driving to a different planet. Turquoise glacial lakes, vast, bleak expanses of black lava fields and desolate volcanic moonscapes are completely unrelieved by any villages or hamlets; otherworldly peaks fade in and out of the mist, and to your right, always, is the terrifying abyss of the sea where the North Atlantic meets the Arctic Ocean.

It must look beautiful round here in good weather, but then, as Þórbergur Þórðarson says, ‘the good-weather days are few on this wind-battered rock in the ocean’. He grew up here in the late nineteenth century, and his descriptions of the Icelandic landscape are refreshingly unromantic. Nature consists, he says,

of grey spongy moss, grey gravel hills, grey rocks, grey cliffs, grey mountains, grey screes, grey plains, grey lava, grey air, and everything near one is wretched, chilly and dreadful.

Not something the Icelandic Tourist Board will be rushing to use. Þórbergur's worldview, which was characterised by a profound, hair-trigger imagination, and by a sensitivity to the supernatural, frankly makes a lot more sense when you look at where he was growing up. Icelanders are, he says, ‘divertingly apathetic in religious matters’, but in a broader spiritual sense he was – in modern terms – rather credulous, terrified of devils and sensing ghosts all around him.

You can see how this environment could encourage such ideas. Famously, there are still Icelanders today who retain a belief in the huldufólk, or elves, though, as my Icelandic colleague told me, not very many. And environmental conditions, especially, are eerily changeable – blizzards give way to blue skies literally in seconds, only to be overtaken by sheets of rain. There's a term in Icelandic, gluggaveður – ‘window weather’ – which refers to conditions that look good out of the window but turn out to be anything but. Time after time I would stop the car to get some pictures (I was there to make a film), only for the car door to nearly blow off its hinges with unseen gusts of wind.

Other times, I would set up my tripod under warm sunshine, only for a violent storm to blow in before I had actually turned the camera on and set focus – I would come running back to the car, drenched and baffled, only for my colleague to glare at me meaningfully: ‘Now do you believe in elves?’

The rushes from this trip are like the found footage from some psychological horror movie. Endless shots of weird landscapes covered in hailstones, water all over the lens, the pictures shaking around in gale-force wind – and from behind the camera you can just hear my voice yelling, ‘Fuck you, elves! Fuck you, elves!’ as I try to hold the tripod steady. I felt like I was losing my mind.

‘Doctors call this hysteria,’ says Þórbergur, of his own idées fixes. ‘I call it mature imagination.’ With his mindset, every noise in the night transformed itself into an assassin or a predatory demon; he relates a story of how, as a teenager, he convinced himself he was pregnant, even going as far as speaking to a midwife in preparation. Some of these tales are no doubt exaggerated for comic effect – he has an almost James-Herriot-like ability to tell a funny story against himself – but there's no doubt he really did feel things very deeply. ‘In my mind,’ he says, ‘there isn't much difference between an idea and external experience.’

The astonishment is all the greater, then, when you read the political pieces included in this collection and find yourself in the presence of such a clear, incisive mind. His ‘Letter to a Nazi’ – written way back in 1933, in Esperanto (Þórbergur was a devoted Esperantist) – is a revelation. Responding to one of Hitler's speeches, which was published in an international journal, Þórbergur describes it as ‘one of the most pathetic pieces of bullshit I have ever read’, which was not the sort of thing that many writers were saying in 1933. Railing against ‘the brainless Hitler, the morphine lunatic Goering’, and describing himself gleefully as a ‘100% racially pure Nordic Aryan’, he addresses himself to the German establishment in no uncertain terms:

You Germans are living at this moment in some kind of drunken madness, which is concentrated on ridiculous racial delusions, belligerent hero-worshipping, savage persecution, and an uncritical adoration of sadistic brutes, who are now whipping and disciplining the nation.

This was not just clear-sighted, it was also brave: as the editors point out, had ‘the German Army landed in Reykjavik on 10 May 1940, and not the British one (UK and then US forces occupied Iceland 1940–45), there is little doubt as to what Þórðarson's fate would have been.’

How wonderful for an anthology to be able to juxtapose such stirring stuff as that with gentle evocations of daily life in the coastal Icelandic boondocks, where

Wives empty chamber-pots on the lawn,
Husbands push off in their boats at dawn
sinking their nets though the seas be rough,
selling the fish that are big enough.

Þórbergur's style comes through clearly in this collection, triangulated through the two translators involved (Hallberg Hallmundsson and Julian Meldon D'Arcy), one an Icelander who lived in New York for forty years, and the other a Brit who lived in Reykjavík for forty years. Together their contributions make for an excellent introduction to a fascinating and distinctive writer out on the edge of Europe, who deserves a good deal less obscurity than he's been left with.
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Widsith | Feb 26, 2018 |
Thórbergur Thórdarson (Þórbergur Þórðarson) gehört mit Recht zu den Schriftstellern Islands, an die dort noch heute erinnert wird - vermutlich auch, weil dort noch immer eigentlich jeder ein Dichter ist, es aber nur wenige schaffen, außerhalb Islands bekannt zu werden. So wurde dieser Roman, der 1938 erschien, erstmals 1960 ins Deutsche übersetzt, 2011 erschien dann zur Frankfurter Buchmesse, bei der Island Gastland war, eine Neuübersetzung.

Thórbergur Thórdarson beschreibt in seinem Roman im Kern seine Erlebnisse aus dem Sommer 1912, in dem er seiner 'Geliebten', die für den Sommer aus Reykjavik auf den elterlichen Hof im Hornafjödur zurückgereist ist, nachreist. Nur schafft er es nicht, sich seiner 'Geliebten' zu offenbaren - und von irgendetwas muss er ja auch leben. Also verdingt er sich erst im Straßenbau, dann in der Heringsverarbeitung. Aber wie es so ist - Brennivin gibt es nicht umsonst, auch ein Schlafplatz kostet, und wenn man sich dann noch ein paar außergewöhnliche Dinge leistet, ist das Geld so schnell wieder zeronnen wie es gewonnen wurde.

In diesem Sommer trifft er auf verschiedene Lebenskünstler wie ihn, deren Geschichten er in seine Erzählung einfließen lässt. Und die meisten Gespräche, über die er berichtet, landen schnell beim Philosophieren - über die wahre Liebe, Gott und den Teufel und den Sinn des Lebens.

Den Weg zurück von Akureyri nach Reykjavik legt er dann zunächst mit dem Schiff - das ihn fast in den Ruin treibt - und zu weiten Teilen dann zu Fuß zurück, mit dem Ziel, seine 'Geliebte' noch einmal zu besuchen. Allein für diese Reisebeschreibung lohnt es sich, das Buch zu lesen :)

Wer sich vom Philosophieren nicht abschrecken lässt, findet hier eine vergnügliche Lektüre, die Island - Land und Leben zu Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts - sehr lebendig werden lässt.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
ahzim | May 16, 2016 |

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