Hardcover è Harmur englanna PDF/EPUB Þ

Hardcover è Harmur englanna PDF/EPUB Þ


Harmur englanna [BOOKS] ⚣ Harmur englanna ⚡ Jón Kalman Stefánsson – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Hafi djöfullinn skapað eitthvað í þessum heimi fyrir utan peningana þá er það skafrenningur uppi á fjöllum Sjálfstætt framhald af Himnaríki og helvíti sem hlaut einróma lof gagnrýnend Hafi djöfullinn skapað eitthvað í þessum heimi fyrir utan peningana þá er það skafrenningur uppi á fjöllum Sjálfstætt framhald af Himnaríki og helvíti sem hlaut einróma lof gagnrýnenda og frábærar viðtökur lesenda Enn ein rósin í hnappagat Jóns Kalmans.

  • Hardcover
  • 316 pages
  • Harmur englanna
  • Jón Kalman Stefánsson
  • Icelandic
  • 08 January 2016
  • 9789979657668

About the Author: Jón Kalman Stefánsson

Jón moved to Keflavík when he was and returned to Reykjavík in with his highschool diploma From – he spent a good deal of his time in West Iceland where he did various jobs worked in a slaughterhouse in the fishing industry doing masonry and for one summer as a police officer at Keflavík International Airport Jón Kalman studied literature at the University of Iceland from .



10 thoughts on “Harmur englanna

  1. Cecily Cecily says:

    Impressions through the clouded lens of snowflakes the eponymous sorrow of angels Death ever present death Lurking in the murderous winter landscape the roof of Hell Lurking in empty bellies and a cough that won’t stopLingering in memories dreams and visionsThe dead entwine with the living urging some to live but luring others towards death “Does one betray the dead by continuing to live?” How to bear “the guilt of being alive and desiring life”By the anchoring bonds with family and friends who liveBy the power of promises carried in hopeful hearts Life tenacious but ephemeral battles relentless hardship across the barren snowFor what? Delivering letters Letters And the dead Optimism or idiocy what’s the real difference?Because “Words are the seventh wonder of the world”Words from one soul to anotherWords to change the worldAssassins or saviours? Bullets or rescue teams?Words from beyond the graveWords that may take postman Jens and the boy to theirsAnd then after agonising survival an oddly comic but possibly deadly descent At the end of the world coffee “warm as Heaven black as Hell” may save but liuor can slayThere’s a fiercely independent woman serving both her generosity hidden beneath the wings of her raven’s heartAnd a boy who doesn’t want physical strength or reckless masculinity but words and educationIf he lives Bodies dead bodies lost bodies bodies reaching out bodies making loveA wet glistening sweet from one mouth to another and “A thousand years passed”Body parts “The heart is a muscle”“Shoulders of moonlight”And eyes So many eyes of every colour and kind blue flint coloured pearls bulging boils black frozen puddles of deathA tentative tender kiss on the eyesBlind eyes that penetrate and see than sighted eyes One of many reasons not to judge from afar And yet “You can always know a person by where he or she looks Eyes don’t lie”Snow blind blind drunk dead drunk blindsight snowBut blind from lack of love? If love returns will sight?And then the world goes outStunning Literally and literarily I was left snow blind; fed but still hungryI crawled out of the shelter of my snow cave craving More words Words to change the world to change me The world went out and so did I straight to The Heart of ManuotesNo plot spoilers They’re hidden for brevity and easy scrollingWords and Booksview spoiler• “First it’s words that freeze then life”• “Everything has to be called something” except the nameless central universal characters “the boy” and “the Village”• “Some books are essential others are diversions” This is the former • “Read as naturally as you breathe Read until you stop distinguishing between the text and yourself”• “Where words don't sit still on the page but instead fly to the sky and give us wings even though we might not have sky to fly in”• “Shit is shit and fancy words don't change that But they change you” • “A person who holds a pen and paper has the possibility to change the world”• “Power and wealth have never gone hand in hand with poetry and that’s perhaps why it’s so incorruptible”• “Written words can have depth than spoken ones The paper is the fertile soil of the word”• “This word sorry which goes such a long way and is so substantial that it can be used to build many houses and many bridges”• “This wonderful smell of books and dust like Heaven”• Kierkegaard is “dangerous He threatens to change us he makes us doubt he forces us to reconceive the world We prefer agreeableness to provocation abstraction to stimulus numbness to stimulation”• “This boy vanished into the poetry was hardly aware of the storm recited the poems out loud to himself recited them like magic incantations and beheld another world Poetry kills it gives you wings you flap them and feel the fetters It leads you to another world and then yanks you back into a storm” hide spoiler

  2. Dolors Dolors says:

    The epic journey of survival against all odds that moulds the identity of the nameless boy continues in this second installment of Stéfansson’s trilogy setting the perfect foreground tone for the fiercest struggle between man and the hostile wilderness of the Icelandic remote landsDivided in two main sections; the youthful main character ponders about the value of literature getting acuainted with it in the first part of the narration and missing it acutely in the second one where the extreme weather conditions become the main protagonist of the story befogging the voice of the omniscient narrator with inner monologue tragicomic dialogue and the incantatory poetry that breathes life into the menacing yet wondrous presence of the landscape that consumes it allThe boundaries separating Heaven and Hell Sky and Earth the Living and the Dead dissipate into a muddled blankness that evokes the oblivion of non beingWhat is the use of printed pages in the face of the unbearable iciness that benumbs hearts and drowns men in the depths of the Polar Sea? Why read Milton Shakespeare or Dickens if the whiteness of the snow will end up blinding those who dare to uestion who dare to look out? And yet Jens the postman puts his life in danger to deliver letters written words at the end of the world where angels weep tears of sorrow that coat slopes gullies and ridges with whitewash made of gelid blizzards and biting snowflakes Humanity is reduced to nothingness in front of the inexorable forces of nature that create and destroy in their wakeSurely the hazardous trip that boy and man embark on together to make a special delivery is a metaphor for mankind's pursuit of answers to fight against absurdity to infuse meaning into a seemingly pointless existence presented through the dual prism of Stéfansson’s artistryThe inuisitive boy whose unuenchable doubts nudge him to speak out and the grumpy postman who avoids words as if they were summoned by the same devil will see their destinies irremediably intertwined in a mission that might shake the ground of their deeply rooted beliefs not only about the importance of words but also about the fine line separating life from death lust from love and reality from hallucinationStéfansson is a poet but the lyrical hues of his darkly sensuous prose is aerated with an outstanding understanding of the human psyche moving shrewdly between realistic narrative folklore and myth blending the moralistic tale with the archetypal existentialist coming of age story His painstaking eye for detail draws an incredibly nuanced portrait of the Icelandic people their precarious life conditions and the unusual mixture of coarseness and sensitivity that constitutes their collective ethosIn a place where man’s angst fear and impotence mean nothing against the undaunted harshness of nature a place where his dreams yearnings and minuscule joys don’t have the slightest impact on his untamable habitat; words might be futile or they might be the rescue team that melts petrified souls lost in the maelstrom of existence back into the throbbing pain of being alive It’s only a matter of finding the courage to give them free entrance into the core of what makes us human

  3. JimZ JimZ says:

    At many times in this book I knew I was reading simply beautiful writing Writing that I appreciated Prose that I knew made this author an extraordinary writer And no doubt because this was originally in Icelandic the translator contributed to my appreciation of the written wordSo I can say that this was a solid 3 star book So there has to be a “but” Why wasn’t this 4 or 5 stars? I gave the first book in the trilogy “Heaven and Hell” 4 starsBut I’m not done writing down what impressed me or what stuck with me after reading this book set in rural Iceland in the late 19th century Among the salient things• I always thought if one was in a blinding snowstorm that at least you would not be wanting for water You could stuff your mouth with snow and eventually instant water Well Jens and the boy for most of the book were in horrendous snowstorms and I guess because the temperature was so cold and the wind was so fierce that putting the snow in their numbed lips and into their mouths actually hurt and so they did not do that So they were at times very thirsty How ironicit was the same as if they were in a desert — they lacked water in a snowstorm• I figured that if this book was about snow that I would enjoy the read because living in the midwestern United States I love when it snows Last winter it snowed a bit less than usual and I think we had two decent sized snows 4 6 inches10 15 cm — I love watching snow come down After a while when into this book and by the book’s end I was sick of and sickened and fearful of snow Jens and the boy nearly died several times in the snow Up to their armpits in snow Digging out a mule that accompanies them on part of the trip hundreds of times The boy on than one occasion in a snow storm unrelenting for hours lay down in the snow and a sleepy warmth was close to overtaking him when Jens roughly shook him awakebecause the boy would be dead probably within 30 minutes had he fallen asleep in the snow In the same way that the character in “To Build a Fire” in Jack London’s classic short story died All warm and cozy as he went to sleep in the snowhe only felt warm and cozy because he was near deathhis body was shutting downhe was dying • The impoverished farmers and their families they met in their sojourn in the snow this wasn’t the dead of winter by the wayit was near the end of April and the conditions in which they lived was actually hard to read I know this was fiction but it’s not hard to understand the situations he made up were close to reality The humans had bags under their eyes so Jens and the boy realized they were starving Reading about children who are starving is not a pleasant read A father cannot have the family recite the Lord’s prayer because the children will start crying after they recite the word “bread” in the prayer give us this day our daily bread One little boy had such a bad cough his lips were blue And they were living in decrepit conditions in very small spaces Jens took pity on one family they shared the night with and left a blank sheet of paper for the children And this was like manna from heaven to the children — they would debate whether to use if to writing or drawing Like oh my God Hopefully the winter storms would abate and summer would come and the children would no longer be hungrybut only for a while for the weather would set in again • “The boy” was somebody I would like to meet He is given no name in that book as well as in this — he I simply referred to as “the boy” We know in the first book of the trilogy he has lost his entire family and only had one best friend left Bardourand Bardour died during a fishing expedition in the winter — he died because he was not wearing protective raingear as he forgot to bring it with him on the boat because he was too busy reading Paradise Lost by Milton he was a book lover The boy returns the book to its original owner a blind boat captain who live with two women Helga and Geirprudur who take pity on the boy and take him into their lives He is employed to read to the blind captain for he shares a love of reading with his best friend Bardour I’m not sure they ever state the age of the boy in either that novel or this novelI would guess he was late in his teenage years He is wise for his age and just a decent human being — you can tellSomething struck me as funny one is not going to come across a lot of yuck yucks in this novel and profound “Kjartan would course roundly if he dared but God is despite all else higher than all storms and men; he hears everything forgets nothing and collects his dues from us on the final day for every thought every word every touch every detail It can be tedious and downright depressing to have such a God hanging over one; we’ll likely exchange him as soon as something better is available”I took 3 pages of notes while reading this book Because sometimes I was captivated by the writing Because sometimes I neededwanted to write something down because I knew if I did not odds are whatever I just wrote down would be referred to later onthe act of writing down the note enabled me to keep that in my short term memory so I could appreciate a passage later on in the book Without writing down my notes some of the significance of the book would have been lost By writing all of this stuff down I realize that I have twisted my arm to change my rating to 4 stars 😊 So now I can briefly state what is my main gripe about the book• Imagine reading a 300 page book and the ending is a gunfight between the good guy and the bad guy and it is just as likely one will triumph over the other A gunshot rings out and one falls to the ground The End WTF? Who fell to the groundwho won the gunfight? Such an ending occurs in this book The only saving grace is that this is the second book of a trilogy so I can find out how it ends in the third and final book of the trilogy But is that the way books in a trilogy are supposed to end? The first book Heaven and Hell ended where it was somewhat of a self contained unit — it had an ending Are trilogies structured sometimes so that one book ends with a cliffhanger endingand you have to wait to buyread the next book to find out the answer? I hope notI just finished a first book of a trilogy by Joyce Cary Herself Surprised and I believe each of the three books have an ending Perhaps my GR friends can enlighten me about the structure of trilogies 🤨Reviews a blog site and a GR member that I like very much based on reading her other reviews none of the reviews above mentioned the lack of an ending or what I perceive as such so once again I prove myself to be the lonesome outlier

  4. Laysee Laysee says:

    It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful it's a cover protecting the earth from the frost and bringing light to a heavy winter but it can also be cold and devoid of mercy – The Sorrow of Angels Jon K Stefansson“The Sorrow of Angels” strikes me as a lovely poetic title for a novel set in Iceland In this second novel Jon Stefansson continues the story of ‘Heaven and Hell” during the season when winter segues into spring and tells it with the same philosophical and lyrical elegance The blinding beauty of snow the ferocity of the winds and the pitiless and overpowering force of wintry gales envelop everything that happens in this story I read this book while visiting Iceland this summer when the temperature hovered between 2 and at most 12 degrees Celsius I was also thrown off my feet once by exceedingly strong winds when trying to close the car door If this is summer then I shudder to think what life is like in winter I read this novel then with a heightened awareness of the sorrow of angels a phrase Stefansson uses to refer to snow angels weeping in Iceland When people live on the border of the habitable world snow is merciless and potentially deadly Stefansson has myriad descriptors for the harshness of the landscape where postmen can lose their lives while collecting or delivering mail They toil against the North wind which is stronger than anything in this country; The weather changes everything here the north wind and cold make us huddle in our homes and increase the distance between peopleIt has been three weeks since the nameless boy lost his friend Bardur on a fishing trip He finds refuge in the house of three cafe owners Helga Geirpruour Kolbeinn who have extended hospitality to him He does chores around the house and reads Shakespeare to Kolbeinn who is visually impaired His new family recognizes his love for books and wishes to educate him seeing he is too dreamy to become a fisherman For the first time he has his own room a bed and oil lamps to read into the night This sounds like bliss yet the boy struggles with the guilt of living Does one betray the dead by continuing to live? Bardur's death has led the boy to a different set of living circumstances where he has opportunities to meet learned individuals such as Gisli the schoolmaster Will and should Bardur’s death bring him happiness? Before long the boy leaves the security of the cafe and embarks on a journey with Jens the mailman on a high risk mail delivery assignment over a stormy fjord and windswept glacier They are later joined by another man Hjalti to make a special” delivery for a grieving family This in sum is the plot of this novelReading their interminable hardship and continued battering by the forces of nature almost wears me out even though I marvel at the dogged perseverance of the characters The journey through snow and frost is unimaginably arduous and I feel relief whenever the party stumbles on a turf farm shelter buried in the snow There is some heartwarming writing in the growing closeness of the three men “A cord of three strand is not easily broken” They begin to communicate openly than ever before about individuals who matter to them and how they should live their lives if they have a chance to survive the tyranny of the harsh and deadly cold “The Sorrow of Angels” pits mere mortals against the natural elements and celebrates the triumph and resilience of the human spirit There is in each man a light that flickers and refuses to go out refuses to give in to the heavy darkness and suffocating death This light nourishes us and torments us it persuaded us to keep going instead of lying down like dumb beasts and waiting for whatever might never come As in its predecessor Heaven and Hell this novel also celebrates the power of words as “rescue teams” The boy previously taciturn begins to speak much to Jens and to recite poetry out loud when the exposed terrain threatens to overwhelm him Of what other use is poetry unless it has the power to change fate? For readers who live in words we know there is truth in this Beautifully written book

  5. Michael Michael says:

    Whereas Heaven and Hell the first volume of the author's trilogy examining the relationship between the living and the dead in late nineteenth century Iceland focused on the ways in which the cold deep and unpredictable sea can turn the living into the dead Stefánsson's second volume The Sorrow of Angels describes how the stark and unforgiving landscape of snowfields glaciers and mountains swept by storms can perform the same transformation The saga of the boy is also a Bildungsroman that examines how one becomes a man and how far an individual may go in defining the concept of manhood within his particular culture It is also a paean to the power of words exemplified in the gloriously beautiful yet simple prose of Stefánsson expertly rendered by his translator Philip Roughton A classic existentialist novel The Sorrow of Angels performs the most difficult task of bridging a trilogy with style ending in a cliffhanger that forces the reader to count the days until the appearance of the concluding volumeThere are books that entertain you but don’t stir your deepest thoughts Then there are others that cause you to uestion that give you hope broaden the world and possibly introduce you to precipicesThis book is in the latter categoryFor some people love never breaks it never tarnishes no matter what storms rage in life and the pettiness that can so easily undermine one in everyday life appears not to touch them Those who have the privilege of crossing the paths of such people momentarily perceive the purpose behind everythingLove life death and the purpose if such there is of it all fill the spaces between the snowflakes the sorrow of angels in this wonderfully meditative adventureLife in any case is rather simple Those who put one foot in front of the other and then vice versa and repeat it often enough finally reach their destination— if they have a destination at all This is one of the facts of this worldOn the one hand this is true but there are certain complicationsHe who dies never returns we’ve lost him no power in the universe is able to bring us the warmth of a vanished life the sound of a voice the hand movements the touch of humor All the details that comprise life and give it validity have vanished into eternity vanished only to leave an open wound in the heart that time gradually transforms into a swollen scar Yet he who dies never leaves us completely which is a paradox that comforts and torments at once; he who dies is both near and farThe uestion that both the boy and we must answer is Does one betray the dead by continuing to live?Depending on our answer we will either lie down in the soft and welcoming snow and slip into a dreamless and eternal sleep or rise to our feet once in the face of the blinding blizzard and accomplish the impossible task of living in the face of certain death

  6. Leif Leif says:

    A clue to the title Here come the angels' tears say the Indians in northern Canada when the snow falls It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful it's a cover protecting the earth from the frost and bringing light to a heavy winter but it can also be cold and devoid of mercyIt goes without saying read Stefánsson's Heaven and Hell first as this novel continues the story – and read it before Stefánsson's most recently translated The Heart of Man the conclusion to the trilogy I loved this book too much to read it uickly too much to put it down too much to criticize it for its swirling skipping thoughtful prose Poetry kills it gives you wings you flap them and feel the fetters It leads you into another world and then yanks you back into a storm into the dinginess of the commonplaceWith the boy and then with the boy and Jens the mailman of few words readers walk the icy snows and death stealing winds of remote Iceland waiting for pauses breaks calm When it comes however calm is only trouble the garrulous talk of lonely priests the dangerous coughing of young children who demand that every story begin No one may die the eyes of sheep in the darkness the tempting breasts of a beautiful woman the families of the recently bereaved the possibility of alcohol for Jens and the boy the trek to deliver mail – to bring words not news any such is their pace but word – balances the howl of the storm against the alluring troubles of calm In the wind and with the word of poetry a person comes to the most important uestions what are we to do with those who betray themselves betray life itself? A ghost might be the only answer ghosts of the living as Jens sees them; ghosts of the dead as the boy senses eually if not acutely Because the word that the two carry might well be that of death and a signifier might easily slip into its signified up at the cold snow covered end of the world where they walk and wrestle with desire and with memoryTo make this not so long story short I loved the language the descriptions the weather the story and the play of metaphors and meanings and tales I was torn emotionally by the way two men's journey with the mail became a meditative burial party of four and then well you'll have to get there to see Rich going this novel Highly recommended

  7. Hanneleele Hanneleele says:

    One of the still too few Icelandic books I've read and though my mother had some words to say about it I still conclude it to be worthy of being placed among my favorites Not only does the book speak a lot about poetry and books in the middle of nothingness it is like a poem in itself and was a sudden and welcome gift from dear dear people I loved it And like many if not most good books it broke my heart a bit And outside my windows there are mountains with snow on them even in the middle of July and I would not want to be there in a snowstorm which is what the characters in Jón Kalman's book spend most of their time doing It's better if someone writes about it Even better if the words have a magic of their own

  8. Calzean Calzean says:

    Stefansson does not for the Iceland Tourist Authority His tale of the boy and Jens the postman is almost poetic as it describes them traipsing through storms snow rowing across a fjord cold near death confronting their fears hunger just to deliver the mail They walk they fall they slip they fall they rejoice when they find shelter and celebrate if they come across a remote farmhouse where they can some coffee and warmth They reflect on love and life and reveal why people elect to live in this dangerous and extremely challenging environmentLooking forward to the third book in this trilogy

  9. Paul Fulcher Paul Fulcher says:

    They press on in the admirable or torpid obstinacy that characterises those who live on the border of the habitable world Sorrow of Angels is not so much a seuel to Heaven and Hell as simply the second of three volumes of the same novel by Jón Kalman Stefánsson beautifully translated by Philip Roughton Indeed it would be best read back to back albeit the rich nature of the prose makes this a novel to be savoured in sips rather than consumed in one sitting So much of my review could simply consist of repeating what I said about the first book Sorrow of Angels takes it's name from a phrase for the all prevailing snow that is arguably the book's most distinctive character Here come the angels's tears say the Indians in northern Canada when the snow falls It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful It's a cover protecting the earth from the frost but it can also be cold and devoid of mercy Sorrow of Angels presents a richer character study than Heaven and Hell both those in the village introduced in the latter part of the first volume but also a succession of memorable folk met on their journey that dominates this second story Against that the set piece perilous journeys through the unforgiving Icelandic climate that dominate both volumes seem a little contrived here often the boy's travelling companion Jens deliberately takes the difficult route or refuses to simply wait out a late winter storm and repetitive indeed this book suffers a little from us knowing there is a third volume so the boy must survive each ordeal The book is again ostensibly narrated by the lost souls of the dead who share the obsession of almost every other character with coffee Why do we have to remember it so well; it's been so very long since we could drink coffee many decades yet still the taste and pleasure haunt us Our bodies were devoured to the last morsel long ago our flesh rotted off our bones dig us up and you'll find just white bones that sneer at you but despite that the pleasures of the flesh stick to us; we can't get rid of them any than the memories that overpower death Death where is your power? But here they specifically one recently departed women intrude directly giving the latter part of the book a supernatural and ethereal feeling The power of words remains a key to the novel and indeed the theme is built on from the first volume Not that most of the characters are verbose indeed other than the boy they are almost universally taciturn Many choose to keep silent when life stings them hardest since words are often just lifeless stones or torn and tattered garments And they can also be weeds harmful disease vectors rotten pieces of wood that can't even hold an ant let alone a man's life Yet they're one of the few things that we actually have handy when everything appears to have betrayed us Keep that in mind As well as that which no one understands that the least important most unlikely words can entirely unexpectedly carry a great load and bring life undamaged over dizzying ravines And within those words the written words in books and poems is foremost And some of those words come from books and poems with the last paragraph and the trust in numbers perhaps containing an authorial illusion to Iceland's role in the financial crisis Of what use is poetry unless it has the power to change fate? There are books that entertain you but don't stir your deepest thoughts Then there are others that cause you to uestion that give you hope broaden the world and possibly introduce you to precipices Some books are essential others diversions Those who speak of the fury of mountain of the sorrow of angels take on the aura of a poet and thereby lose all credit; poets are entertainers parlour ornaments at times clowns and are conseuently taken by us with a grain of salt It's conceivably true that poetry holds the ridiculous and beautiful core of the nation in its depths but seven hundred years of struggle have shaped us and filed us down; somewhere along the way we lost faith in the power of poetry started to see it as a giddy daydream a party decoration and put all our trust in numbers and obvious facts what we didn't understand or feared was shut up inside relatively harmless folk talesThe last two thirds of the novel tells of an epic journey almost a suicide mission undertaken by the boy with Jens the postman delivering letters over the snowbound mountains to inaccessible parts of the country Jens On low ground he's silent untactful a little too inclined to drink and perhaps weak willed but up here at a height of nearly seven hundred metres encompassed by black weather life on the other hand death on the other he feels at home flourishesit's a bit sad that this man flourishes nowhere but far from human habitation far from life in fact To shine nowhere but in mortal danger up on mountains can such a person find happiness and have a life on the low ground with uiet moment kind words kisses and gentle eyes? The first third tells the story of how the boy for the first time in his life sees a new way of life opening up in his brief stay in the village And on the trek he finds himself feeling an odd emotion regret for what's he has hopefully temporarily left behind It's a completely new experience for him to regret the loss of what hasn't disappeared into eternity This new regret is easier and there's light in it But regret over what? The people the selfsame trio the security the possibilities that can come with living in that house? All his life ever since his father died he's been leaving never known where he was going but his dreams are all about this getting away In this lay hope and reason to keep himself upright Getting away from the fish the hardship the haymaking the incessant destructive everyday toil the constant grind that rips people apart well before their time takes the gleam from their eyes the heat from their touch He's lived for three weeks now in a house where all the rules are somehow turned upside down and he's supposed to begin his education when he returns if he returnsThe village community is also dominated by women and the boy also finds himself rebelling against the culture of manliness in which he was brought up Sometimes men like you are cowardly they just don't' stop You should have seen Petur's eyes light up when he described the courage of the men who dared not yield to a storm dared not yield to dangerHow many families were broken up because of the foreman's manliness To think that you're left all alone in this bloody world because the foreman was so bloody manly This god damned manliness of yours suffocates everything that's good and sensitive and beautiful it kills life itself Their journey eventually takes them to almost the end of the world the Polar sea where whole months pass without any contact without the wider world and spring is a battle against starvation I've heard how it is here in the northern regions little left but salted seabirds by the time spring comes; people lie bedridden with scurvy folk in their best years some even need to be moved to other farms to other districts to get them back on their feet This must be the end of the world declares the boy and then Bjarni comes with the coffee They avoid speaking for some time in order to enjoy the drink better You feel that we live at the end of the world says Bjarni not looking in any particular direction although it's no secret to whom he's directing his words The boy Yes this is undeniablya bit distant from everythingAll roads lead away from here Bjarni And no roads lead here? The boy smiling apologetically ashamedly That's probably not true Bjarni It's alright But it's good to be here there are plenty of fish in the sea birds on the cliffs we have fifty sheep it's uiet here no one to push you around He who lives here is free That must be something The end of the world what's that? What to you is the end of the world is home to meOverall another excellent instalment in a moving story I look forward to the next volume The Heart of Man when the themes developed in the first part of his book are fully developed

  10. Matthias Matthias says:

    As often in trilogies the second book improves on the first in several ways There is gorgeous landscape the characters show depth and the author delivers of his enjoyable mixture of dry humor and nordic spirituality I am probably too generous with the stars but I am addicted to this sort of slow contemplative prose Reading this is like watching a film by Béla Tarr I am tempted to compare this to to another trilogy Hans Henny Jahnn's River Without Banks but will postpone that until after I have read the third partIn my comment about the first volume I lamented about the German translation Curiously I really liked the the translation this time again by Karl Ludwig WetzigMaybe I was in a bad mood while reading the first volume

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10 thoughts on “Harmur englanna

  1. Cecily Cecily says:

    Impressions through the clouded lens of snowflakes the eponymous sorrow of angels Death ever present death Lurking in the murderous winter landscape the roof of Hell Lurking in empty bellies and a cough that won’t stopLingering in memories dreams and visionsThe dead entwine with the living urging some to live but luring others towards death “Does one betray the dead by continuing to live?” How to bear “the guilt of being alive and desiring life”By the anchoring bonds with family and friends who liveBy the power of promises carried in hopeful hearts Life tenacious but ephemeral battles relentless hardship across the barren snowFor what? Delivering letters Letters And the dead Optimism or idiocy what’s the real difference?Because “Words are the seventh wonder of the world”Words from one soul to anotherWords to change the worldAssassins or saviours? Bullets or rescue teams?Words from beyond the graveWords that may take postman Jens and the boy to theirsAnd then after agonising survival an oddly comic but possibly deadly descent At the end of the world coffee “warm as Heaven black as Hell” may save but liuor can slayThere’s a fiercely independent woman serving both her generosity hidden beneath the wings of her raven’s heartAnd a boy who doesn’t want physical strength or reckless masculinity but words and educationIf he lives Bodies dead bodies lost bodies bodies reaching out bodies making loveA wet glistening sweet from one mouth to another and “A thousand years passed”Body parts “The heart is a muscle”“Shoulders of moonlight”And eyes So many eyes of every colour and kind blue flint coloured pearls bulging boils black frozen puddles of deathA tentative tender kiss on the eyesBlind eyes that penetrate and see than sighted eyes One of many reasons not to judge from afar And yet “You can always know a person by where he or she looks Eyes don’t lie”Snow blind blind drunk dead drunk blindsight snowBut blind from lack of love? If love returns will sight?And then the world goes outStunning Literally and literarily I was left snow blind; fed but still hungryI crawled out of the shelter of my snow cave craving More words Words to change the world to change me The world went out and so did I straight to The Heart of ManuotesNo plot spoilers They’re hidden for brevity and easy scrollingWords and Booksview spoiler• “First it’s words that freeze then life”• “Everything has to be called something” except the nameless central universal characters “the boy” and “the Village”• “Some books are essential others are diversions” This is the former • “Read as naturally as you breathe Read until you stop distinguishing between the text and yourself”• “Where words don't sit still on the page but instead fly to the sky and give us wings even though we might not have sky to fly in”• “Shit is shit and fancy words don't change that But they change you” • “A person who holds a pen and paper has the possibility to change the world”• “Power and wealth have never gone hand in hand with poetry and that’s perhaps why it’s so incorruptible”• “Written words can have depth than spoken ones The paper is the fertile soil of the word”• “This word sorry which goes such a long way and is so substantial that it can be used to build many houses and many bridges”• “This wonderful smell of books and dust like Heaven”• Kierkegaard is “dangerous He threatens to change us he makes us doubt he forces us to reconceive the world We prefer agreeableness to provocation abstraction to stimulus numbness to stimulation”• “This boy vanished into the poetry was hardly aware of the storm recited the poems out loud to himself recited them like magic incantations and beheld another world Poetry kills it gives you wings you flap them and feel the fetters It leads you to another world and then yanks you back into a storm” hide spoiler

  2. Dolors Dolors says:

    The epic journey of survival against all odds that moulds the identity of the nameless boy continues in this second installment of Stéfansson’s trilogy setting the perfect foreground tone for the fiercest struggle between man and the hostile wilderness of the Icelandic remote landsDivided in two main sections; the youthful main character ponders about the value of literature getting acuainted with it in the first part of the narration and missing it acutely in the second one where the extreme weather conditions become the main protagonist of the story befogging the voice of the omniscient narrator with inner monologue tragicomic dialogue and the incantatory poetry that breathes life into the menacing yet wondrous presence of the landscape that consumes it allThe boundaries separating Heaven and Hell Sky and Earth the Living and the Dead dissipate into a muddled blankness that evokes the oblivion of non beingWhat is the use of printed pages in the face of the unbearable iciness that benumbs hearts and drowns men in the depths of the Polar Sea? Why read Milton Shakespeare or Dickens if the whiteness of the snow will end up blinding those who dare to uestion who dare to look out? And yet Jens the postman puts his life in danger to deliver letters written words at the end of the world where angels weep tears of sorrow that coat slopes gullies and ridges with whitewash made of gelid blizzards and biting snowflakes Humanity is reduced to nothingness in front of the inexorable forces of nature that create and destroy in their wakeSurely the hazardous trip that boy and man embark on together to make a special delivery is a metaphor for mankind's pursuit of answers to fight against absurdity to infuse meaning into a seemingly pointless existence presented through the dual prism of Stéfansson’s artistryThe inuisitive boy whose unuenchable doubts nudge him to speak out and the grumpy postman who avoids words as if they were summoned by the same devil will see their destinies irremediably intertwined in a mission that might shake the ground of their deeply rooted beliefs not only about the importance of words but also about the fine line separating life from death lust from love and reality from hallucinationStéfansson is a poet but the lyrical hues of his darkly sensuous prose is aerated with an outstanding understanding of the human psyche moving shrewdly between realistic narrative folklore and myth blending the moralistic tale with the archetypal existentialist coming of age story His painstaking eye for detail draws an incredibly nuanced portrait of the Icelandic people their precarious life conditions and the unusual mixture of coarseness and sensitivity that constitutes their collective ethosIn a place where man’s angst fear and impotence mean nothing against the undaunted harshness of nature a place where his dreams yearnings and minuscule joys don’t have the slightest impact on his untamable habitat; words might be futile or they might be the rescue team that melts petrified souls lost in the maelstrom of existence back into the throbbing pain of being alive It’s only a matter of finding the courage to give them free entrance into the core of what makes us human

  3. JimZ JimZ says:

    At many times in this book I knew I was reading simply beautiful writing Writing that I appreciated Prose that I knew made this author an extraordinary writer And no doubt because this was originally in Icelandic the translator contributed to my appreciation of the written wordSo I can say that this was a solid 3 star book So there has to be a “but” Why wasn’t this 4 or 5 stars? I gave the first book in the trilogy “Heaven and Hell” 4 starsBut I’m not done writing down what impressed me or what stuck with me after reading this book set in rural Iceland in the late 19th century Among the salient things• I always thought if one was in a blinding snowstorm that at least you would not be wanting for water You could stuff your mouth with snow and eventually instant water Well Jens and the boy for most of the book were in horrendous snowstorms and I guess because the temperature was so cold and the wind was so fierce that putting the snow in their numbed lips and into their mouths actually hurt and so they did not do that So they were at times very thirsty How ironicit was the same as if they were in a desert — they lacked water in a snowstorm• I figured that if this book was about snow that I would enjoy the read because living in the midwestern United States I love when it snows Last winter it snowed a bit less than usual and I think we had two decent sized snows 4 6 inches10 15 cm — I love watching snow come down After a while when into this book and by the book’s end I was sick of and sickened and fearful of snow Jens and the boy nearly died several times in the snow Up to their armpits in snow Digging out a mule that accompanies them on part of the trip hundreds of times The boy on than one occasion in a snow storm unrelenting for hours lay down in the snow and a sleepy warmth was close to overtaking him when Jens roughly shook him awakebecause the boy would be dead probably within 30 minutes had he fallen asleep in the snow In the same way that the character in “To Build a Fire” in Jack London’s classic short story died All warm and cozy as he went to sleep in the snowhe only felt warm and cozy because he was near deathhis body was shutting downhe was dying • The impoverished farmers and their families they met in their sojourn in the snow this wasn’t the dead of winter by the wayit was near the end of April and the conditions in which they lived was actually hard to read I know this was fiction but it’s not hard to understand the situations he made up were close to reality The humans had bags under their eyes so Jens and the boy realized they were starving Reading about children who are starving is not a pleasant read A father cannot have the family recite the Lord’s prayer because the children will start crying after they recite the word “bread” in the prayer give us this day our daily bread One little boy had such a bad cough his lips were blue And they were living in decrepit conditions in very small spaces Jens took pity on one family they shared the night with and left a blank sheet of paper for the children And this was like manna from heaven to the children — they would debate whether to use if to writing or drawing Like oh my God Hopefully the winter storms would abate and summer would come and the children would no longer be hungrybut only for a while for the weather would set in again • “The boy” was somebody I would like to meet He is given no name in that book as well as in this — he I simply referred to as “the boy” We know in the first book of the trilogy he has lost his entire family and only had one best friend left Bardourand Bardour died during a fishing expedition in the winter — he died because he was not wearing protective raingear as he forgot to bring it with him on the boat because he was too busy reading Paradise Lost by Milton he was a book lover The boy returns the book to its original owner a blind boat captain who live with two women Helga and Geirprudur who take pity on the boy and take him into their lives He is employed to read to the blind captain for he shares a love of reading with his best friend Bardour I’m not sure they ever state the age of the boy in either that novel or this novelI would guess he was late in his teenage years He is wise for his age and just a decent human being — you can tellSomething struck me as funny one is not going to come across a lot of yuck yucks in this novel and profound “Kjartan would course roundly if he dared but God is despite all else higher than all storms and men; he hears everything forgets nothing and collects his dues from us on the final day for every thought every word every touch every detail It can be tedious and downright depressing to have such a God hanging over one; we’ll likely exchange him as soon as something better is available”I took 3 pages of notes while reading this book Because sometimes I was captivated by the writing Because sometimes I neededwanted to write something down because I knew if I did not odds are whatever I just wrote down would be referred to later onthe act of writing down the note enabled me to keep that in my short term memory so I could appreciate a passage later on in the book Without writing down my notes some of the significance of the book would have been lost By writing all of this stuff down I realize that I have twisted my arm to change my rating to 4 stars 😊 So now I can briefly state what is my main gripe about the book• Imagine reading a 300 page book and the ending is a gunfight between the good guy and the bad guy and it is just as likely one will triumph over the other A gunshot rings out and one falls to the ground The End WTF? Who fell to the groundwho won the gunfight? Such an ending occurs in this book The only saving grace is that this is the second book of a trilogy so I can find out how it ends in the third and final book of the trilogy But is that the way books in a trilogy are supposed to end? The first book Heaven and Hell ended where it was somewhat of a self contained unit — it had an ending Are trilogies structured sometimes so that one book ends with a cliffhanger endingand you have to wait to buyread the next book to find out the answer? I hope notI just finished a first book of a trilogy by Joyce Cary Herself Surprised and I believe each of the three books have an ending Perhaps my GR friends can enlighten me about the structure of trilogies 🤨Reviews a blog site and a GR member that I like very much based on reading her other reviews none of the reviews above mentioned the lack of an ending or what I perceive as such so once again I prove myself to be the lonesome outlier

  4. Laysee Laysee says:

    It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful it's a cover protecting the earth from the frost and bringing light to a heavy winter but it can also be cold and devoid of mercy – The Sorrow of Angels Jon K Stefansson“The Sorrow of Angels” strikes me as a lovely poetic title for a novel set in Iceland In this second novel Jon Stefansson continues the story of ‘Heaven and Hell” during the season when winter segues into spring and tells it with the same philosophical and lyrical elegance The blinding beauty of snow the ferocity of the winds and the pitiless and overpowering force of wintry gales envelop everything that happens in this story I read this book while visiting Iceland this summer when the temperature hovered between 2 and at most 12 degrees Celsius I was also thrown off my feet once by exceedingly strong winds when trying to close the car door If this is summer then I shudder to think what life is like in winter I read this novel then with a heightened awareness of the sorrow of angels a phrase Stefansson uses to refer to snow angels weeping in Iceland When people live on the border of the habitable world snow is merciless and potentially deadly Stefansson has myriad descriptors for the harshness of the landscape where postmen can lose their lives while collecting or delivering mail They toil against the North wind which is stronger than anything in this country; The weather changes everything here the north wind and cold make us huddle in our homes and increase the distance between peopleIt has been three weeks since the nameless boy lost his friend Bardur on a fishing trip He finds refuge in the house of three cafe owners Helga Geirpruour Kolbeinn who have extended hospitality to him He does chores around the house and reads Shakespeare to Kolbeinn who is visually impaired His new family recognizes his love for books and wishes to educate him seeing he is too dreamy to become a fisherman For the first time he has his own room a bed and oil lamps to read into the night This sounds like bliss yet the boy struggles with the guilt of living Does one betray the dead by continuing to live? Bardur's death has led the boy to a different set of living circumstances where he has opportunities to meet learned individuals such as Gisli the schoolmaster Will and should Bardur’s death bring him happiness? Before long the boy leaves the security of the cafe and embarks on a journey with Jens the mailman on a high risk mail delivery assignment over a stormy fjord and windswept glacier They are later joined by another man Hjalti to make a special” delivery for a grieving family This in sum is the plot of this novelReading their interminable hardship and continued battering by the forces of nature almost wears me out even though I marvel at the dogged perseverance of the characters The journey through snow and frost is unimaginably arduous and I feel relief whenever the party stumbles on a turf farm shelter buried in the snow There is some heartwarming writing in the growing closeness of the three men “A cord of three strand is not easily broken” They begin to communicate openly than ever before about individuals who matter to them and how they should live their lives if they have a chance to survive the tyranny of the harsh and deadly cold “The Sorrow of Angels” pits mere mortals against the natural elements and celebrates the triumph and resilience of the human spirit There is in each man a light that flickers and refuses to go out refuses to give in to the heavy darkness and suffocating death This light nourishes us and torments us it persuaded us to keep going instead of lying down like dumb beasts and waiting for whatever might never come As in its predecessor Heaven and Hell this novel also celebrates the power of words as “rescue teams” The boy previously taciturn begins to speak much to Jens and to recite poetry out loud when the exposed terrain threatens to overwhelm him Of what other use is poetry unless it has the power to change fate? For readers who live in words we know there is truth in this Beautifully written book

  5. Michael Michael says:

    Whereas Heaven and Hell the first volume of the author's trilogy examining the relationship between the living and the dead in late nineteenth century Iceland focused on the ways in which the cold deep and unpredictable sea can turn the living into the dead Stefánsson's second volume The Sorrow of Angels describes how the stark and unforgiving landscape of snowfields glaciers and mountains swept by storms can perform the same transformation The saga of the boy is also a Bildungsroman that examines how one becomes a man and how far an individual may go in defining the concept of manhood within his particular culture It is also a paean to the power of words exemplified in the gloriously beautiful yet simple prose of Stefánsson expertly rendered by his translator Philip Roughton A classic existentialist novel The Sorrow of Angels performs the most difficult task of bridging a trilogy with style ending in a cliffhanger that forces the reader to count the days until the appearance of the concluding volumeThere are books that entertain you but don’t stir your deepest thoughts Then there are others that cause you to uestion that give you hope broaden the world and possibly introduce you to precipicesThis book is in the latter categoryFor some people love never breaks it never tarnishes no matter what storms rage in life and the pettiness that can so easily undermine one in everyday life appears not to touch them Those who have the privilege of crossing the paths of such people momentarily perceive the purpose behind everythingLove life death and the purpose if such there is of it all fill the spaces between the snowflakes the sorrow of angels in this wonderfully meditative adventureLife in any case is rather simple Those who put one foot in front of the other and then vice versa and repeat it often enough finally reach their destination— if they have a destination at all This is one of the facts of this worldOn the one hand this is true but there are certain complicationsHe who dies never returns we’ve lost him no power in the universe is able to bring us the warmth of a vanished life the sound of a voice the hand movements the touch of humor All the details that comprise life and give it validity have vanished into eternity vanished only to leave an open wound in the heart that time gradually transforms into a swollen scar Yet he who dies never leaves us completely which is a paradox that comforts and torments at once; he who dies is both near and farThe uestion that both the boy and we must answer is Does one betray the dead by continuing to live?Depending on our answer we will either lie down in the soft and welcoming snow and slip into a dreamless and eternal sleep or rise to our feet once in the face of the blinding blizzard and accomplish the impossible task of living in the face of certain death

  6. Leif Leif says:

    A clue to the title Here come the angels' tears say the Indians in northern Canada when the snow falls It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful it's a cover protecting the earth from the frost and bringing light to a heavy winter but it can also be cold and devoid of mercyIt goes without saying read Stefánsson's Heaven and Hell first as this novel continues the story – and read it before Stefánsson's most recently translated The Heart of Man the conclusion to the trilogy I loved this book too much to read it uickly too much to put it down too much to criticize it for its swirling skipping thoughtful prose Poetry kills it gives you wings you flap them and feel the fetters It leads you into another world and then yanks you back into a storm into the dinginess of the commonplaceWith the boy and then with the boy and Jens the mailman of few words readers walk the icy snows and death stealing winds of remote Iceland waiting for pauses breaks calm When it comes however calm is only trouble the garrulous talk of lonely priests the dangerous coughing of young children who demand that every story begin No one may die the eyes of sheep in the darkness the tempting breasts of a beautiful woman the families of the recently bereaved the possibility of alcohol for Jens and the boy the trek to deliver mail – to bring words not news any such is their pace but word – balances the howl of the storm against the alluring troubles of calm In the wind and with the word of poetry a person comes to the most important uestions what are we to do with those who betray themselves betray life itself? A ghost might be the only answer ghosts of the living as Jens sees them; ghosts of the dead as the boy senses eually if not acutely Because the word that the two carry might well be that of death and a signifier might easily slip into its signified up at the cold snow covered end of the world where they walk and wrestle with desire and with memoryTo make this not so long story short I loved the language the descriptions the weather the story and the play of metaphors and meanings and tales I was torn emotionally by the way two men's journey with the mail became a meditative burial party of four and then well you'll have to get there to see Rich going this novel Highly recommended

  7. Hanneleele Hanneleele says:

    One of the still too few Icelandic books I've read and though my mother had some words to say about it I still conclude it to be worthy of being placed among my favorites Not only does the book speak a lot about poetry and books in the middle of nothingness it is like a poem in itself and was a sudden and welcome gift from dear dear people I loved it And like many if not most good books it broke my heart a bit And outside my windows there are mountains with snow on them even in the middle of July and I would not want to be there in a snowstorm which is what the characters in Jón Kalman's book spend most of their time doing It's better if someone writes about it Even better if the words have a magic of their own

  8. Calzean Calzean says:

    Stefansson does not for the Iceland Tourist Authority His tale of the boy and Jens the postman is almost poetic as it describes them traipsing through storms snow rowing across a fjord cold near death confronting their fears hunger just to deliver the mail They walk they fall they slip they fall they rejoice when they find shelter and celebrate if they come across a remote farmhouse where they can some coffee and warmth They reflect on love and life and reveal why people elect to live in this dangerous and extremely challenging environmentLooking forward to the third book in this trilogy

  9. Paul Fulcher Paul Fulcher says:

    They press on in the admirable or torpid obstinacy that characterises those who live on the border of the habitable world Sorrow of Angels is not so much a seuel to Heaven and Hell as simply the second of three volumes of the same novel by Jón Kalman Stefánsson beautifully translated by Philip Roughton Indeed it would be best read back to back albeit the rich nature of the prose makes this a novel to be savoured in sips rather than consumed in one sitting So much of my review could simply consist of repeating what I said about the first book Sorrow of Angels takes it's name from a phrase for the all prevailing snow that is arguably the book's most distinctive character Here come the angels's tears say the Indians in northern Canada when the snow falls It snows a great deal here and the sorrow of the heavens is beautiful It's a cover protecting the earth from the frost but it can also be cold and devoid of mercy Sorrow of Angels presents a richer character study than Heaven and Hell both those in the village introduced in the latter part of the first volume but also a succession of memorable folk met on their journey that dominates this second story Against that the set piece perilous journeys through the unforgiving Icelandic climate that dominate both volumes seem a little contrived here often the boy's travelling companion Jens deliberately takes the difficult route or refuses to simply wait out a late winter storm and repetitive indeed this book suffers a little from us knowing there is a third volume so the boy must survive each ordeal The book is again ostensibly narrated by the lost souls of the dead who share the obsession of almost every other character with coffee Why do we have to remember it so well; it's been so very long since we could drink coffee many decades yet still the taste and pleasure haunt us Our bodies were devoured to the last morsel long ago our flesh rotted off our bones dig us up and you'll find just white bones that sneer at you but despite that the pleasures of the flesh stick to us; we can't get rid of them any than the memories that overpower death Death where is your power? But here they specifically one recently departed women intrude directly giving the latter part of the book a supernatural and ethereal feeling The power of words remains a key to the novel and indeed the theme is built on from the first volume Not that most of the characters are verbose indeed other than the boy they are almost universally taciturn Many choose to keep silent when life stings them hardest since words are often just lifeless stones or torn and tattered garments And they can also be weeds harmful disease vectors rotten pieces of wood that can't even hold an ant let alone a man's life Yet they're one of the few things that we actually have handy when everything appears to have betrayed us Keep that in mind As well as that which no one understands that the least important most unlikely words can entirely unexpectedly carry a great load and bring life undamaged over dizzying ravines And within those words the written words in books and poems is foremost And some of those words come from books and poems with the last paragraph and the trust in numbers perhaps containing an authorial illusion to Iceland's role in the financial crisis Of what use is poetry unless it has the power to change fate? There are books that entertain you but don't stir your deepest thoughts Then there are others that cause you to uestion that give you hope broaden the world and possibly introduce you to precipices Some books are essential others diversions Those who speak of the fury of mountain of the sorrow of angels take on the aura of a poet and thereby lose all credit; poets are entertainers parlour ornaments at times clowns and are conseuently taken by us with a grain of salt It's conceivably true that poetry holds the ridiculous and beautiful core of the nation in its depths but seven hundred years of struggle have shaped us and filed us down; somewhere along the way we lost faith in the power of poetry started to see it as a giddy daydream a party decoration and put all our trust in numbers and obvious facts what we didn't understand or feared was shut up inside relatively harmless folk talesThe last two thirds of the novel tells of an epic journey almost a suicide mission undertaken by the boy with Jens the postman delivering letters over the snowbound mountains to inaccessible parts of the country Jens On low ground he's silent untactful a little too inclined to drink and perhaps weak willed but up here at a height of nearly seven hundred metres encompassed by black weather life on the other hand death on the other he feels at home flourishesit's a bit sad that this man flourishes nowhere but far from human habitation far from life in fact To shine nowhere but in mortal danger up on mountains can such a person find happiness and have a life on the low ground with uiet moment kind words kisses and gentle eyes? The first third tells the story of how the boy for the first time in his life sees a new way of life opening up in his brief stay in the village And on the trek he finds himself feeling an odd emotion regret for what's he has hopefully temporarily left behind It's a completely new experience for him to regret the loss of what hasn't disappeared into eternity This new regret is easier and there's light in it But regret over what? The people the selfsame trio the security the possibilities that can come with living in that house? All his life ever since his father died he's been leaving never known where he was going but his dreams are all about this getting away In this lay hope and reason to keep himself upright Getting away from the fish the hardship the haymaking the incessant destructive everyday toil the constant grind that rips people apart well before their time takes the gleam from their eyes the heat from their touch He's lived for three weeks now in a house where all the rules are somehow turned upside down and he's supposed to begin his education when he returns if he returnsThe village community is also dominated by women and the boy also finds himself rebelling against the culture of manliness in which he was brought up Sometimes men like you are cowardly they just don't' stop You should have seen Petur's eyes light up when he described the courage of the men who dared not yield to a storm dared not yield to dangerHow many families were broken up because of the foreman's manliness To think that you're left all alone in this bloody world because the foreman was so bloody manly This god damned manliness of yours suffocates everything that's good and sensitive and beautiful it kills life itself Their journey eventually takes them to almost the end of the world the Polar sea where whole months pass without any contact without the wider world and spring is a battle against starvation I've heard how it is here in the northern regions little left but salted seabirds by the time spring comes; people lie bedridden with scurvy folk in their best years some even need to be moved to other farms to other districts to get them back on their feet This must be the end of the world declares the boy and then Bjarni comes with the coffee They avoid speaking for some time in order to enjoy the drink better You feel that we live at the end of the world says Bjarni not looking in any particular direction although it's no secret to whom he's directing his words The boy Yes this is undeniablya bit distant from everythingAll roads lead away from here Bjarni And no roads lead here? The boy smiling apologetically ashamedly That's probably not true Bjarni It's alright But it's good to be here there are plenty of fish in the sea birds on the cliffs we have fifty sheep it's uiet here no one to push you around He who lives here is free That must be something The end of the world what's that? What to you is the end of the world is home to meOverall another excellent instalment in a moving story I look forward to the next volume The Heart of Man when the themes developed in the first part of his book are fully developed

  10. Matthias Matthias says:

    As often in trilogies the second book improves on the first in several ways There is gorgeous landscape the characters show depth and the author delivers of his enjoyable mixture of dry humor and nordic spirituality I am probably too generous with the stars but I am addicted to this sort of slow contemplative prose Reading this is like watching a film by Béla Tarr I am tempted to compare this to to another trilogy Hans Henny Jahnn's River Without Banks but will postpone that until after I have read the third partIn my comment about the first volume I lamented about the German translation Curiously I really liked the the translation this time again by Karl Ludwig WetzigMaybe I was in a bad mood while reading the first volume

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