Here we are again...
Daegga, it's very intrepid of you to give it a try in Icelandic! I'm sure I'm missing a lot too, but now that I think of it, I'd read it in English before my first read in Icelandic. So that obviously was a help.
I've been thinking about why I enjoy this novel. Although the time jumps obviously make it somewhat difficult to follow, I admire the way that it builds up a mood and a wider picture using these scattered pieces of memory. Each small vignette seems freighted with slightly more meaning than it would have in isolation. Particularly these small glimpses we get of Kleppur, the mental hospital, in Pall's early childhood. (It's a real place: https://is.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kleppssp%C3%ADtali
) Maybe we're also getting a view that is slanted by Pall's mental illness. It somehow manages to be funny and dark and immediate and distant almost simultaneously. And there's the weirdness of characters like Baldvin King of the Britons... does anyone have thoughts on that encounter?
In addition I like the descriptions of the Icelandic weather, the sea, the landscape, the cold of night and the stars. Or maybe I just think "frostkrap" is a great word.
Interesting to read people's reviews on GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4626 ... e_Universe
A few questions going forward:
- Is it just the three of us that are planning to take part in the discussion at this point? Me, Daegga and caam_innt? I'm wondering whether there are a lot of people who haven't been able to track down the book after all, or maybe people have looked at it and decided that it's not their sort of read?
- What is the best way to think about structuring the discussion? Are we primarily aiming to discuss the content of the book, or to talk about what the process of reading in our language of choice is like for us? Or do we want to go for a much more in-depth approach, where we pick out particular turns of phrase, think about their meaning, maybe compare how they've been translated into different languages? If we're going ahead with the discussion it would be good to think about how we can make it both useful and fun.
- Chapter 3 is quite short so I'm wondering what people think about discussing both 3 and 4 next week.