Full text: Iceland 1930

pendent researches of great consequence. The first good map of Ice- 
land was made by the great mathematician Bjérn Gunnlaugsson (1788 
—1876), and based upon his own surveying. 
On most of the principal branches of science something has been 
written in Icelandic, both for schools and for purposes of general in- 
struction; but a characteristic feature of it all is that it has been ad- 
apted to the public at large, who read almost everything that comes 
in their way. And the Icelandic peasantry’s love of reading is proved 
by the fact that single impressions of most books number 1000—2000 
copies, and sometimes even more. 
The novel. As already mentioned, the Icelandic sagas ended in the 
fourteenth century in fiction pure and simple; and the style and 
technique of the best Icelandic sagas left very little to be learned 
from the modern novel. There was therefore no need for the Ice- 
landers to invent a new form in the nineteenth century in order to be 
able to write a novel; the form was there ready to hand. 
Jonas Hallgrimsson is ‘the father‘ of the modern novel in Iceland, 
though he wrote but one, the ‘Grasaferdin, an exquisite little story, de- 
picting rural life, This was followed by district judge Jén Thoroddsen’s 
(1819—1868, also a lyric poet of some note) ‘D4litil ferdasaga‘ (A Short 
Sketch of a Travel), showing marked ability. His other works in this 
field are the popular ‘Piltur og stiilka‘ (Lad and Lass) and ‘Madur og 
kona’ (Man and Wife, unfinished), his masterpiece, published after 
his death. Thoroddsen’s subject is the life of the common people, 
and his characters, especially the more peculiar ones, are drawn with 
such skill that they haunt the mind of every Icelander, and his scenes 
of rural life bear the stamp of reality. He has an abundance of tender 
humour, and his purity of style and spontaneity of expression combine 
to make him one of the great masters of modern Icelandic prose. 
Benedikt Gréndal wrote witty, humorous stories in the style of the 
chivalric saga. Gestur Pélsson (1852—1891), the editor of a news- 
paper, while studying at the university of Copenhagen, came under the 
influence of the realistic literary movement, which about that time had 
its flourishing period in Denmark. He wrote a few short stories in 
the spirit of that school. He is a close observer and depicts his 
characters with great force and clearness, but is often bitter in his 
satire. The Rev. Jonas Jonasson (1856—1918) who wrote mostly short 
stories, describes peasant life with severe realism, dwelling especially 
on its shady side. Einar Hjérleifsson Kvaran (1859—) studied at 
the university of Copenhagen, and was then for a number of years

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.