Laxness, Halldór

Laxness, Halldór
orig. Halldór Kiljan Gudjónsson

born April 23, 1902, Reykjavík, Ice.
died Feb. 8, 1998, near Reykjavík

Icelandic novelist.

He converted to Roman Catholicism while traveling in Europe as a young man but later dissociated himself from Christianity and turned to socialism, an ideology reflected in his novels from the 1930s and '40s. Works exploring the social issues of Iceland include Salka Valka (1936), which deals with the plight of working people in a fishing village; Independent People (1935), the story of an impoverished farmer's struggle for economic independence; and the nationalist trilogy Iceland's Bell (1943–46). His later works were more lyrical and introspective. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955.

* * *

▪ 1999

      Icelandic novelist (b. April 23, 1902, Reykjavík, Ice.—d. Feb. 8, 1998, Leikjalundur, Ice.), was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955 and the Sonning Prize in 1969. At the time of his death, Laxness was his nation's only Nobel Prize winner. Though he initially rejected the literary tradition of his native country, Laxness later embraced the medieval Icelandic saga and was credited by the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize, with having "renewed the great narrative art of Iceland." The nationalistic trilogy Íslandsklukkan (1943-46) established him as the country's leading writer. Laxness grew up on the family farm, from which he took his pen name, and from the age of 17 journeyed throughout Europe. During these travels he was introduced to French Surrealism and German Expressionism; the influences of both movements were evident in his early work. Yet, as was characteristic of Laxness throughout his life, he soon found inspiration in other movements and philosophies. A convert to Roman Catholicism in the early 1920s, he wrote about a young man torn between his religious faith and the pleasures of the world in Vefarinn mikli frá Kasmír (1927); it signaled the beginning of his dissociation from Christianity. During the 1930s and '40s, Laxness concentrated on the plight of Iceland's lower classes in such controversial works as Sjálfstœtt fólk (1934-35; Independent People, 1946) and Heimsljós (1937-40; World Light, 1969), both of which criticize Icelandic society. His long-standing belief in Taoism was reflected in works after 1955, including Brekkukotsannáll (1957; The Fish Can Sing, 1966) and Paradísarheimt (1960; Paradise Reclaimed, 1962). Toward the end of his literary career, Laxness focused mainly on plays, translations, and memoirs.

* * *

▪ Icelandic writer
pseudonym of  Halldór Kiljan Gudjónsson  
born April 23, 1902, Reykjavík, Iceland
died February 8, 1998, near Reykjavík
 Icelandic novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1955. He is considered the most creative Icelandic writer of the 20th century.

      Laxness spent most of his youth on the family farm. At age 17 he traveled to Europe, where he spent several years and, in the early 1920s, became a Roman Catholic. His first major novel, Vefarinn mikli frá Kasmír (1927; “The Great Weaver from Kashmir”), concerns a young man who is torn between his religious faith and the pleasures of the world. Rebellious in its attitude and experimental in style, this modernistic novel marked the beginning of his dissociation from Christianity. While living in the United States (1927–29), Laxness turned to socialism, an ideology that is reflected in his novels written in the 1930s and '40s.

      After his return to Iceland, he published a series of novels with subjects drawn from the social life of Iceland: Salka Valka (1931–32; Eng. trans. Salka Valka), which deals with the plight of working people in an Icelandic fishing village; Sjálfstætt fólk (1934–35; Independent People), the story of an impoverished farmer and his struggle to retain his economic independence; and Heimsljós (1937–40; World Light), a four-volume novel about the struggles of a peasant poet. These novels criticized Icelandic society from a socialist viewpoint, and they attracted a great deal of controversy. Although he had initially rejected the literary tradition of his native country, Laxness later embraced the medieval Icelandic saga and was credited by the Swedish Academy, which awards the Nobel Prize, with having “renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.” The nationalistic trilogy Íslandsklukkan (1943–46; “Iceland's Bell”) established him as the country's leading writer.

      Beginning in the late 1950s, Laxness increasingly turned from social issues to philosophical questions and the problems of the individual. The novels from this period, including Brekkukotsannáll (1957; The Fish Can Sing) and Paradísarheimt (1960; Paradise Reclaimed), are more lyrical and introspective. In Kristnihald undir Jökli (1968; Christianity at Glacier) and Innansveiterkronika (1970; “Domestic Chronicle”) he even engaged in modernist experimentation as he had in his early works.

      In addition to novels, Laxness published plays, poetry, short stories, critical essays, and translations, and he edited several Icelandic sagas. In the 1970s and '80s he published several volumes of memoirs, including Sagan af brauddinu dýra (1987; The Bread of Life) and Dagar hjá múnkum (1987; “Days with Monks”).

Additional Reading
Peter Hallberg, Halldór Laxness (1971).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать курсовую

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laxness, Halldór — orig. Halldór Kiljan Gudjónsson (23 abr. 1902, Reykjavík, Islandia–8 feb. 1998, cerca de Reykjavík). Novelista islandés. Se convirtió al catolicismo en su juventud mientras viajaba por Europa; pero luego se alejó del cristianismo y abrazó el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Laxness, Halldor Kiljan — (1902 1998)    An Icelandic novelist, short story writer, poet, essayist, and dramatist, Laxness was an extremely prolific writer from his debut in 1927 until becoming disabled with progressive dementia in the 1990s. A Nobel Prize winner in 1955 …   Historical Dictionary of Scandinavian Literature and Theater

  • Laxness, Halldór Kiljan — pseud. di Gudjónsson, Halldór Kiljan …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Laxness, Halldor Kiljan — ► (1902 98) Escritor islandés. Fue premio Nobel de Literatura en 1955. Autor de Salka Valka. y La crónica del terruño …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Halldor Laxness — Halldór Laxness (Porträt von Einar Hákonarson) Halldór Kiljan Laxness [ˈhaltour ˈcʰɪljan ˈlaxsnɛs] ?/Info/IPA (eigentlich Halldór Guðjónsson; * 23. April 1902 in Reykjavík; † 8. Februar …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Halldór Kiljan Laxness — Halldór Laxness (Porträt von Einar Hákonarson) Halldór Kiljan Laxness [ˈhaltour ˈcʰɪljan ˈlaxsnɛs] ?/Info/IPA (eigentlich Halldór Guðjónsson; * 23. April 1902 in Reykjavík; † 8. Februar …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Laxness — Halldór Laxness (Porträt von Einar Hákonarson) Halldór Kiljan Laxness [ˈhaltour ˈcʰɪljan ˈlaxsnɛs] ?/Info/IPA (eigentlich Halldór Guðjónsson; * 23. April 1902 in Reykjavík; † 8. Februar …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Halldór Laxness — Halldór Laxness. Halldór Kiljan Laxness /ˈhaltour ˈcʰɪljan ˈlaxsnɛs/ (Reikiavik, Islandia, 23 de abril de 1902 8 de febrero de 1998) (nombre verdadero Halldór Guðjónsson) fue un escritor, poeta y ensayista islandés, ganador del …   Wikipedia Español

  • Halldor Laxness — Halldór Laxness Halldór Kiljan Laxness par Einar Hákonarson, 1984 Halldór Kiljan Laxness, né Halldór Guðjónsson, (Reykjavik 23 avril 1902 – 8 février 1998) est un célèbre écrivain islandais du …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Halldór Kiljan Laxness — Halldór Laxness Halldór Kiljan Laxness par Einar Hákonarson, 1984 Halldór Kiljan Laxness, né Halldór Guðjónsson, (Reykjavik 23 avril 1902 – 8 février 1998) est un célèbre écrivain islandais du …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”