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March 22, 2011

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>: yes, my test too. I haven't read any Laxness. You make me think I should.

Oh dear, you can see how much I know about html. That was supposed to read:

"the book lingers in my mind and continues to ask questions - a quality that fulfills my test for excellence in literature": yes, my test too. I haven't read any Laxness. You make me think I should.

I haven't read the book but it reminded me slightly of the (partly humorous, partly mild horror) film "The Wicker Man" (1980s, I think), where the inhabitants of a Scottish island give up Christianity and revert to paganism. The stony island becomes amazingly fertile (like the tropics), and the people too, as far as I remember! Unfortunately they branch out into human sacrifice and the mainland police get suspicious. The film hasn't got the depth of the above book but it's brilliant nevertheless - still available on DVD.

I am willing to have a go at this.i am ordering it from my bookstore.Your post on Jose Saramago got me going in some interesting reading directioms

Beth- sounds fascinating, I'mgoing to look it up. Like Vivien, I too thought of 'The Wicker Man' but that was horrific in its dénouement whereas the Laxness book seems more philosophical.

I'm trying to think why the name Halldor Laxness rings a bell with me. Have you or I ever mentioned him before?

Hey, that sounds like the Laxness for me!

Thinking back about "The Wicker Man", I feel the film may have more depth than was apparent when it came out (1976). It's grown in reputation and is regarded as a cult horror film (though not a ghastly hands-over-eyes one!), but in fact it's more philosophical than it seems. Someone said to me that the difference between the pagan religions and Christianity was the quality of mercy. "The Wicker Man" shows how a pagan religion can be basically about power (personified by the Laird of the island). This is an enormous and complex subject, and I'm not against paganism, but it was a belief of its time.

This must be Halldór Laxness week on the internet!

I reviewed Glacier last week:

http://flippistarchives.blogspot.com/2011/03/another-kind-of-icelandic-mystery.html

and I found a review of another of his books yesterday:

http://beautyisasleepingcat.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/halldor-laxness-the-fish-can-sing-aka-brekkukotsannall-1957-an-icelandic-coming-of-age-tale/

He's a great writer, almost all of his titles are wonderful.

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