Höfundur Íslands

Hallgrímur Helgason


Book, 19.9 x 12.7 cm, 510 p, language : Icelandic, publisher : Mál og Menning, Reykjavík, ISBN : 9979324856.
Materials: Ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2026/279).

Literary synopsis

In Höfundur Íslands (The Author of Iceland) a famous Icelandic writer dies at the age of 82 and wakes up in a novel he wrote 50 years earlier. Here the saying “the author lives in his work” is put to practice. Einar J. Grímsson spends his afterlife stuck inside his own world of fiction; the novel about the balky farmer Hrolfur of Helldale and his victimized family. Living among his own characters soon becomes the writer’s nightmare.

The main character, Grímsson, is loosely based on Icelandic Nobel prize winner Halldor Laxness (1902-1998) and the novel in question is inspired by his famous Independent People. This fact caused quite a stir when the book was published in Iceland, Laxness being the sacred icon of Icelandic culture. Most of the debate centered around the fact that the author admits having been a Stalinist, a touchy subject in Laxness’s life. The “succès de scandale” resulted in good sales and Höfundur Íslands became Hallgrimur’s best-selling book. It was awarded the Iceland Literature Prize in 2001 and has been published in Italy, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Germany.

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: No Link to Artworks.

Genre: Plain Fiction, Roman à clef.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Death.

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