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The delegates to the 2012 Icelandic National League of North America in Brandon, Manitoba, selected What the Bear Said, by W.D. Valgardson as the second selection of our INL Reads! program.
You can read more about the selection by clicking the “2012-13 INL Reads! Selection” link. Grab a copy of “Bear,” start reading, and meet back here to discuss!
Here are some questions some of our INL Reads! readers have posed about our first book, Independent People.
This is a wonderful meditation on Laxness, the nature of genius, the novel “Independent People,” and Icelandic society’s uneasy relationship with all of the above. It is a great opening to formulating your own thoughts or discussions on the novel.
At a moment in “Independent People,” when the community of sheep farmers was faced with another death, they searched for a way to honor the deceased. They passed around a borrowed copy of Hallgrimur Pjetursson’s “Passion Hymns,” only to discover that none in their party attend church frequently enough to know the tune of the chosen hymn. Reaching deeper into memory, Old Thorthur of Nithurkot was asked to recite the “Lord’s Prayer.” Continue reading
As you read “Independent People,” it is impossible to not be impressed with Laxness’ incredible use of language and imagery, which holds true even in translation. I hold up the following passage from the J.A. Thompson translation where Bjartur of Summerhouses lays out his philosophy of life for the visitors to his humble turfhouse. Continue reading
by Gwen Mann
Halldor Laxness’s Independent People, the book chosen by the INL Reads! organizing committee is the first book to be read in the series by Icelanders and anyone else who loves Icelandic literature. We’ll then discuss the book on line, in local Icelandic clubs and any other way that the conversation should go. Continue reading