Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1946
Genre Fiction
Origin Iceland
Publisher Vintage
ISBN-10 9780679767923
ISBN-13 978-0679767923
My Copy cheap paperback
First Read April 08, 2017

Independent People

This book befuddled me, and after finishing it I immediately googled around for some reviews.

Annie Dillard praises it for being funny and bleak, and she's right. It IS, and consistently so.

Sam Knight condemns it for its heroic portrayal of a man who should be more or less written off as an asshole, and he's kind of right. But I don't think Laxness really intends to praise Bjartur - his pigheaded fixation on independence is the undoing of himself and his family, and his only spark of redemption comes after he's compromised his precious principles.

Noted on April 30, 2017

Presently the smell of coffee began to fill the room. This was morning’s hallowed moment. In such a fragrance the perversity of the world is forgotten, and the soul is inspired with faith in the future…

Quoted on April 30, 2017

These children who for some mysterious reason were still alive on the moors had experienced many of its noteworthy phenomena. . . . It is always very instructive to lose one's mother in the first sunshine of the haymaking; and when one's father goes away after one's eldest brother's disappearance, then that too is a special kind of experience, a new type of misery.

Quoted on April 30, 2017

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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