July 13, 2014
July 10, 2014
June 19, 2014
At that the pastor rose and came over to me and patted me on the cheek and said, "That's just the thing, me dear: we believe in the land which God has given us; in the district where our people have lived for a thousand years; we believe in the function of country districts in the national life of Iceland, we believe in the green hillside where Life lives.' - Halldór Laxness, The Atom Station (1948)
This first post starts a blog where I am going to collate me thoughts for the project Chaucer in Iceland: A Study of the Impact of Scandinavian Identity on Contemporary Medieval Studies. This project will culminate in my visit to Iceland (July 2014) to attend the Biennial International Congress of the New Chaucer Society, to be held at the University of Iceland.
One of the most significant aspects of Icelandic identity, which Halldór Laxness explores in The Atom Station, is the connection to an ever-changing, 'living' landscape. This is an issue that is at the heart of much contemporary Icelandic fiction, but which also significantly affects the political sphere in Iceland (the Althing). Recently, Lucy Siegle wrote an article in The Observer in which she interviewed the musician Björk on her efforts to save the Iceandic countryside from urbanisation and industrialisation through foreign investment, to protect 'one of Europe's last remaining pristine wildernesses.'