Thursday 22. October 2009

Lunch Lecture: The Rural Novels of Jón Kalman Stefánsson

In the Lunch Lecture Friday October 23, Ingi Björn Guðnason will talk about authors Þórbergur Þórðarson and Halldór Laxness and how they are portrayed in a recent rural trilogy by Jón Kalman Stefánsson.

The three latest novels by Jón Kalman, Sumarljós og svo kemur nóttin (Summer Light and then comes the night), Himnaríki og helvíti (Heaven and Hell) and the latest novel Harmur englanna (The sorrow of the Angels) have been very well received and critically acclaimed. His first three novels, Skurðir í rigningu (Ditches in the Rain), Sumarið bakvið Brekkuna (The Summer behind the Slope) and Birtan á fjöllunum (The Light on the Mountains) are less known, but are none the less very interesting. These books make a trilogy of rural novels that take place in the West of Iceland in the seventies. In his talk, Ingi Björn Guðnason will show how the trilogy is connected to two of the best known Icelandic authors of the twentieth century, Þórbergur Þórðarson and Halldór Laxness. Ingi Björn will first present how these authors are portrayed within the novels, second how their portrayal in the novels presents a specific idea about Icelandic literary history and third how these two factors effect the narrative of the trilogy.

Ingi Björn Guðnason studied comparative literature at the University of Iceland and is currently working at the University Centre of the Westfjords. His talk is based on a part of his MA thesis which is a study of Jóns Kalmans rural trilogy. In addition to its relation to Þórbergur Þórðarson and Halldór Laxness, the thesis explores how the trilogy is a continuity of the Icelandic rural novel tradition and how it works with recent theory of narrative and metafiction.

The talk is in Icelandic and will start at 12.10 in the University Centre cafeteria.