Monday, April 30, 2012

A History of Iceland

      

by Knut Gjerset,
Macmillan, New York, 1924


I found this book at a local antique store, that's the dust jacket of my copy pictured above- not bad for an 88 year-old! I was intrigued by its subject of course, but was pleasantly surprised in reading this well-written and comprehensive reference. Knut Gjerset was a professor of History and Norwegian at Luther College in Decorah Iowa from 1902 until 1936. He was the Original curator of the Norwegian-American Historical Museum (Now the Vesterheim Museum) which I visited last year.

A big problem in trying to grasp the history of Iceland is the blur of names, places and events over the last 1140+ years. This book helped me understand how Iceland changed over that time, in particular the power struggles between the goðar(chieftains) and the saga-heroes of the early years. The Icelandic people were then challenged by the Church and the royalty of Norway and Denmark, made chattel to monopolistic traders and even besieged by pirates! Obviously, the book ends right after World War I, with a chapter devoted to Icelandic emigration.

I may have finally read enough Icelandic history for it to finally "stick" in my brain. I wouldn't want to take a test on what I've read, but in reading this book most of the events were familiar and the flow of Iceland's history, particularly from 1300 to 1700, made for compelling reading. This is a somewhat rare book, but a diligent researcher can find a copy in WorldCat.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Sharon's Postulate

I am a Dragon. So there.






Sharon
gets her Dragon chow at the pet-food store, I think,
therefore: Iams.

Used by permission.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

In



   When Sean got to the customs gate the agent asked him where he would be staying. Sean told him that he would be staying in an apartment on Garðastræti and the official smiled and said, “Say hello to the Russians.” Sean was starting to feel jet lag, and this comment only made him feel more disoriented. The agent handed Sean his passport and then he was in. The terminal was nice, modern and bigger than Sean had imagined it. He bought some Spanish wine—a good reserva—most impressive for duty-free. In the ground terminal bought his ticket for the Flybus and boarded it for the trip into town. It was still somewhat dark when the bus left the terminal but the sky was already starting to glow over Highway 41 as it snaked its way through the lava fields. The lights of Rekjavík and the surrounding communities danced along the distant shoreline. As he went past an enormous aluminum plant, Sean turned his thoughts toward the mission at hand.

   Somewhere in that tangle of lights was his quarry, Billy Clarkson, the errant son of a politician, a United States Senator who could well become the next president. Billy had evidently traveled this road many times. Why had he come back here? Was it love or was it money? Perhaps it was that the power trip games that Billy enjoyed playing were more satisfying here.

   “Why Iceland?”

   The passenger in the seat next to Sean was an American who had boarded the bus at the last possible minute. Sean had to think before answering. The man looked to be, in Sean’s initial impression,  a bit of an ‘odd duck’—possibly an academic. Sean sensed that his ‘Scandinavian Studies’ reply would only bring more questions, questions he wouldn’t be able to answer.

    “I don’t know exactly why,” said Sean, “I’ve heard that the scenery is pretty fantastic. The music scene is supposed to be good in Reykjavík.” Sean, at this point, was grasping for anything.

   “Oh, you’ll find all that here, on a smaller scale than in a larger country, perhaps, but the Iceland will offer the receptive traveler the chance to reap immense rewards.” The man had a strange gleam in his eye, and it wasn’t just the reflections from the lights along the highway.

   “What would you recommend?” said Sean, attempting to turn the spotlight away from himself.

   “Check out the National Theater,” said the peculiar stranger, “Do a walkabout around the city. Check out the nightlife on the weekends—but be aware that it doesn’t start to really heat up until after midnight. But I think that the number one best thing to do is go to the municipal swimming pools and go sit the hot pots. When you’re there listen—don't speak—unless you are spoken to. You’ll find the real people there. If you’re wearing nothing but a Speedo you’ll be able to learn a lot when sitting in a hot-pot with four or five nearly naked Icelanders.”

   “Thanks, I’ll remember that,” said Sean, whose head was starting to spin from that mental image. And it didn’t help matters any that he was starting to get very hungry. “I’m Sean. What is your reason for coming to Iceland, Mr… ?”

   “Harold Shallbetter, professor of political studies. I’m here concerning some newly discovered manuscripts. They have the potential to cause quite a stir. There is some controversy about their provenance.”

   Sean was glad that he decided not to mention his ‘Scandinavian Studies’ cover story.

   As the bus neared the city the sky began to get quite bright. Looking out the bus window, Sean could see into the cars driving past several feet below him. Morning commuters: some with coffee, some with sleepy children, all nice looking people, ready for their daily life. Sean knew that Billy wouldn’t be found here among the ‘normal’ folk.

   The reality Billy lived in had a completely different set of norms.

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   Sean found his apartment after getting off the bus and taking a few wrong turns. It was an older part of town on a quiet street near the pond that was in the center of the city. The place was neat—if a bit sterile—in the usual Ikean way. In addition to the Wi-Fi, it had a proper ethernet connection. Sean was pleased that he could plug in and not have to broadcast his activities to the whole neighborhood—especially when he saw that the Russian embassy was just across the street. Sean now understood the remark by the customs official.

   “Well, if I am going to play the spy, Mrs. Robinson certainly picked the right neighborhood,” Sean thought. He logged into the network and opened his email:
MollyBee23 @SeattleBestMail.net
May 2 (2 hours ago)

to me

Hi, remember me? The bed is too lonely already. Mom's cat came downstairs for a while, but left when I wouldn't share my Chinese. Hope your flight was OK, and I'm sorry if you were hurt by what I said the other night. It's only a week or so, right?

I found the "Open only in case of emergency" letter you left. I didn't open it, it's nice of you to leave me a lifesaver.

It's nearly 1 A.M. Time for bed.

Love you,

Molly
   Mrs. Robinson had left a half-dozen messages (didn’t that woman ever sleep?), mostly GPS coordinates that Sean could check out. The most intriguing message contained a link to a photo-hosting site:

MR#1 @SAppDiffRef.com
May 2 (1 hour ago)

to me

Sean: We've found Silu's pictures. Billy is in some of the pictures from 2004. But he's also in the new albums, starting about two-weeks ago, about the time he went missing:
 
http://PhotoBugHost.com/ 
Get some sleep, Billy is a nite-owl anyway.
MR

    Sean let Molly and Mrs. Robinson know that he had arrived safely and then went to bed.



Fiction

By Professor Batty

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maestro's Farewell II


Saint Paul, Minnesota, 1970

Hell of a drummer.

Doubled on Mandolin.

Acted a little.

Sang a little.

He shall be LEVON.

Always.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Maestro's Farewell


Stanisław Skrowaczewski and The Minnesota Orchestra, April 20, 2012

More culture, this time on the highest level. Anton Bruckner's symphonies have a limited appeal, even among classical music lovers. Mesmerizing to some, boring to others, they remain enigmatic. No. 8, his final complete symphony, contains the sublime Adagio which is decidedly "trippy". Broad, shimmering sheets of chords alternate between strings, reeds, winds and brass (with even some harps thrown in!) Subtle, ever-shifting dynamics transport the receptive listener to realms of...

... of what? In the ear of the beholder, this piece of music has meant almost all things to listeners over the years. Bruckner was a favorite of the Nazi regime's cultural ministers while in recent years his work has even been compared to Zen mysticism (Celibidache among others). Whatever opinion one may have of the music, there can be little disagreement that Bruckner is a challenge, usually only tackled by the finest orchestras.

Stanisław Skrowaczewski is considered by many to be the finest living interpreter of Bruckner. Last Friday's performance at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis showed a man in complete control of the material, eliciting a majestic performance from the expanded ensemble and even touching an emotional high point in the famous Adagio. The 88-year Skrowaczewski, conducting without a score, delivered a definitive 8th. Only between movements could one sense what a struggle the 80 minute opus was. A touching moment occurred between the Adagio and the Finale, as Stanisław bent down and spoke softly to the first violinist while daubing his eyes with his handkerchief.
The prolonged standing ovations for this humble man were a heartfelt recognition for his lifetime of dedication to the highest of musical ideals.

In the audience were several groups of children who were of the same age I was when first I heard Skrowaczewski conduct. They were enthralled, just as I was— 50 years ago.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 1 

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Monday, April 23, 2012

O Brave New World


Dowling Studio Lobby

After scoring a pair of comps (thanks Reid!) the Weaver and I were able to attend a pair of one-act plays at the Guthrie Theater's Dowling studio. In the intimate "box" setting these new plays showcased 16 young actors from the University of Minnesota's B.F.A. Actor's Training Program. The first play, Victoria Stewart’s In Game or Real, is a modern riff on Shakespeare's The Tempest, "exploring the betrayals and epic wins possible in the virtual world of online video games." That may sound like a recipe for disaster but the extremely appealing cast along with the play's clever mixing of real and virtual "realities", made for a very enjoyable experience. Special note must be made of the efforts of Angela Janas and Paris Hunter Paul as love-struck lawyers working on opposing sides of an effort to reconcile feuding RPG creators whose game becomes a nice metaphor for the battle of the sexes. Lively direction and a stunning fight choreography (Suzy Messerole and Annie Enneking, respectively) made this play a hoot from start to finish.

Gregory S. Moss’ dreamlike drama Golden Age portrays a tribe of runaways striving to forge an alternative family. This was a more serious play, dealing with youthful alienation and desire. Another good cast, although the play's dialog veered uneasily between teen vernacular and high drama— at times very effective, at times downright clunky. That said, the story was well structured and reached a satisfying conclusion. Benjamin McGovern's direction was a touch static, possibly constrained by the nature of the play.

Both of these productions would be standouts in a fringe festival, In Game or Real was immensely entertaining, while Golden Age (with some reworking) has probably the the greatest potential.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Sharon Spa

Sharon flitting and fitting in.








Pamper yourself with Sharon, Fridays.

Used by permission.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Keflavík



   The sky was no longer black by the time Sean‘s flight approached the Icelandic coastline. Beneath the scudding clouds below the jet, a solitary light shone from a house perched on a rocky jetty. Sean wondered what type of person could live here at “the end of the world” in such apparent isolation. But the world was different now, certainly different from what it was like twenty years ago when there was no real internet. It was different from the way it was ten years ago when the web was just starting to gain momentum. The house Sean saw below him was probably as connected as he was at home: with internet service, satellite TV, and all the modern amenities. Billy and Sean had been at the forefront of that internet revolution. But while Sean was looking for secret passages and back doors that hid ‘secrets’, Billy spent his time looking for his next big score. Sean’s thrill was in sussing out a system’s weak points while Billy reveled in trapping ‘suckers.’

   Sean had last seen Billy in 2010, at their five-year CMU reunion. Billy had been drinking pretty heavily before the dinner. Later, when Sean finally did get together with him, Billy was even more in the bag. He seemed reluctant to talk about what he’d been doing. The reunion was held during the height of the Wikileaks controversy; when Sean mentioned it to him Billy quickly changed the subject. Until then, Sean didn’t think that Billy was much into politics. Billy had always kept his political views to himself, possibly to due to the strained relationship he had with his father. More importantly, he didn’t seem to be very happy. As he looked out the window at the rugged landscape peeking between the clouds, Sean wondered if Billy been in Iceland during that time after college. Iceland had been a center for Wikileaks activity then it had quieted down since Julian Assange had been placed under house arrest in the UK. If Billy was still involved with Assange it might explain why he had dropped out of sight. Strangely, Assange had recently been given a show on Russian TV. Sean found it hard to imagine Billy being involved with the Russians.

   “Sean—seriously, if you need a break from your ‘Scandinavian Studies’ call me, leave me a message. I’ll be at the Hotel Borg. There’s no harm in having a drink or two,” said Sally, who was now awake and had evidently been talking. Sean hadn’t been paying attention until she spoke his name.

   “Okay, Ms. O’Donnell, I’ll see how things go, I’m sure we'll meet again—it’s a small island!" said Sean, smiling pleasantly. The plane was beginning its final descent through swirling clouds of mist. All he could see outside the window was the flashing light on the tip of the wing. Suddenly the clouds were behind them. The mossy lava fields below quickly gave way to the tarmac. The plane touched down and fifteen minutes later Sean was walking into the Leifur Eiríksson Air Terminal.






Fiction

By Professor Batty

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Photo Tip #429- Making Images Look Old



A good way to to produce an "old" looking picture is to start with an old camera.

Step one: I had scrounged a "Cerio Firenze", an Italian 35mm Leica wanna-be, from a camera store which was glad to be rid of it. It was a dreadful thing— a piece of iron bent to form the body, a 50mm f8 (!) lens in a crude brass barrel containing a flip-flop spring shutter, a simple advance knob and a top and bottom plate covered in black paint.

Step two: Use grainy, outdated film, preferably manufactured in an Eastern European country.

Step three: Find some decrepit thing to take a picture of, in this case a building that housed the machinery to pump caustic lime into a holding pond.

Step four: Develop the film in a hap-hazard way, using over-agitation to enhance the grain structure.

Step five: Print the image using a cheap enlarger.

Step six: Put the print in a box and leave it, undisturbed, for forty years. Don't be tempted to shorten this step!

Step seven: Scan the print, sharpening the grain even more.

Step eight: Publish on your blog!

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Orphanage



For the last twenty-five years or so there has been a photographic swap meet held twice a year in my metro area. It is the home of orphan cameras- cameras that have outlived their usefulness, even if they are still perfectly useable. It has been dwindling in scope every year, the digital revolution in photography has pretty much killed the market in film cameras. The older digital cameras are nearly worthless as well- they are obsolete in two or three years.

Still, there are the die-hards (myself included) who come back year after year. This time I had some equipment that I wasn't using and I did manage to sell enough to make it worth my while. Paradoxically, the stuff I thought no one would want went right away. My high-end stuff (some of it current models) only got a nibble. The sellers are all getting older, veterans of a scene that is rapidly vanishing. In the future, will any photographic equipment be worth anything? The four most popular cameras in on Flicker are all cell phones- some models are "free" with service plans. I don't know. I do think that this kind of camera swap meet is not long for this world, however.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Cirque du Sharon

The world today doesn't make sense, so why should
I paint pictures that do?








Hang with Sharon at FITK

Used by Permission

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Music Criticism



I love America.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 2 

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Monday, April 09, 2012

Aldrei fór ég Suður



The other big pop music festival in Iceland was held last weekend in remote Ísafjörður and was webcast live via the Aldrei fór ég suður site. Fortunately, highlights from past shows are archived there - as I suspect this year's show will soon be. While not all of the acts are really ready for this kind of exposure, it was nevertheless a fascinating look at the Icelandic music scene and the extra footage of the town and the festival goers offers a great window for the armchair traveler. There was even a live on-stage marriage proposal during Reykjavík's act! Most groups sing in Icelandic; some of the performers are very unique or exciting:



Orphix Oxtra (2011,2012), Nerdy modern jazz, lots of weird meters and jagged melody lines.



Sóley (2011), Beautiful folk-rock from a fabulous singer/songwriter.


Páll Óskar (2011,2012), Even more fabulous and endlessly charismatic, although he mostly features his disco hits done to backing tracks in these shows.


Retro Stefson has come a long way since I first saw them in 2006. They have literally grown up in the public eye. Real crowd-pleasers, they were the climax of the festival.


The site is definitely worth a bookmark if you intend to go to Airwaves- it is a tremendous reference. As true high speed internet (fiber-optic) becomes more prevalent I can see how this kind of presentation may ultimately supplant regular broadcast media. My broadband connection of the live material was adequate, but the archived HD video is far smoother- although by its being edited it loses some of the live "electricity" of the event.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 6 

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Friday, April 06, 2012

The Easter Sharon

And on the third day Sharon rolled eggs instead of stones.







The great mysteries explained by Sharon, Good Fridays at FITK

Used by Permission

By Professor Batty


Comments: 0 

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Thursday, April 05, 2012

Rites of Spring



Almost as far back as I can remember Spring has meant the return of baseball. These memories take on an almost mythic quality now, perhaps because they were possibly the only activity which a child could participate in that had an adult dimension. Once you got a slight mastery of the basic fundamentals you were "in the club" and ready to play, you could to follow teams and players, and, in our Northern climate, you could be outdoors.

Scattered mental images:

Buying baseball cards at Galenos grocery ("Duke Snider? He's washed up!")...

Playing against little league teams with real uniforms and sponsors- teams which had old men as coaches...

Going to an exhibition game and seeing Willie Mays pinch-hit a home run against the Minneapolis Millers...

Getting your own Mickey Mantle baseball glove...

Watching the Yankees play the Red Sox in old Fenway Park on a murky black and white TV...

Meeting 'Moose' Skowron in our neighborhood IGA...

Baseball played in tennis courts with a tennis ball...

Wiffleball played in the back yard...

Endless days of 'hell softball' 2 against 2 or 3 against 3 in 90° heat...

... the list of this pointless, innocent and cheap fun goes on and on.

Now, baseball is moneyball...

All grown up
...

Serious business...


Not so much fun anymore.

By Professor Batty


Comments: 6 

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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Eight Miles High



   “Hi, my name is Sally O’ Donnell, what’s yours?”

   Sean’s trip had started off with a bang. The vivacious red-haired woman next to him was a talker—Sean’s plan of disappearing into the upholstery was doomed, he thought. Better to be cordial, yet non-committal, or, better yet, be absolutely boring.

   “Hi. I’m Sean.”

   “Sean? Sean from Seattle, huh? Ha! What brings you aboard this flight?”

   “Scandinavian studies.”

   “Sounds boring. I’m going for some action, a change of scenery, a change of luck.”

   “Well, I’m certain that you’ll find the scenery unique although I’ve never been a believer in luck.”

   "Oh, I believe in luck alright. Some good, some bad. Lucky in love, I’m not. After my last husband referred to me as his ‘entropy wife’ I knew that the fire was out. Ha! How about you, I mean not like I’m hitting on you, ha, but are you attached?”

   “Yes, I’m in a relationship.”

   “Oh, that’s too bad… for you, I mean. Hah!  An exotic locale. No one knows who you are? An agreeable woman. We could see the midnight sun, you and me—if you know what I mean. I’m kidding of course… or am I?"

   “Wow,” thought Sean,  “We hadn't even left the ground yet and I am already paired with a bona fide looney!

   “Really, Ms. O’ Donnell, I’m spoken for,” said Sean, as dispassionately as he could.

   “Just breaking the ice. No harm, no foul—no need to be offended. Please, Sean, you call me Sally.”

   Sean had really wanted to open his laptop and begin reading some of Billy’s old emails and blog contacts. As the plane was taking off, he thought it better that Sally knew as little as possible of him and his mission. “Remember—be boring,” he thought, “Or, perhaps, being corny would work better.”

   “Sally, you are really something,” said Sean, “If I were free, I just might take you up on your offer. But, alas, my heart is betrothed to another, perhaps in another lifetime?”

   “Aw, a real nice guy! I thought they were extinct. Oops, I think we just left the ground. I like this part of the flight, this and the landing. The rest is a drag.”

   The jet began its climb and soon they were over the Cascades, heading away from the fading sunlight. They headed northeast toward Hudson’s Bay. Then it would fly over Greenland, landing in Keflavík and, after deplaning, Sean would be in Reykjavík.

   “Sally, I’ve read that when traveling more than three time zones, you shouldn’t eat until you arrive. Doing that is supposed to help you avoid jet-lag.”

   “Well that might be true for some but I'm starving,” said Sally,  “And I could use a drink!”

   “The drinks are on me—it isn’t every day I have such a boon companion.”

   “Thank you, Sean, I’ll take you up on that.”

   By the time the jet was over Greenland Sally was snoring.

   Sean took out his laptop and opened one of the files that he had copied from Billy’s college computer:

July 3, 2004

My pals Emma and Helga and Kristín were hot on going to the Navy Base Club so I said I'd be the driver. I felt I owed them as much for what they've done for me but I regretted it the minute I said I would. I'd been to the club before, when I was drinking, and I wasn't impressed. So, I really wasn't looking forward to going when sober. Anyway, we drove down to the base where we signed a bunch of papers to get on the base and then a man made us sign again, just to let us into the club. I thought it was a lot of fuss just to be able to get into a dive joint but I wasn't going to bitch because it was the girls' night out.

First thing I notice when I get in the door is Billy, the hotshot who's says he is the son of a U.S. Senator, standing with all his friends at the bar and then he turned and noticed me and the girls. The guys were whispering to each other as we walked by and when we sat down on the other side of the room they were all staring with smirks on their faces. Obviously Billy thought I must be stalking him because I was in "his" club at the U.S. base. Cue "You're so Vain" on the soundtrack.

Every now and again Billy led his friends on a tour to our table until they all knew exactly who the crazy stalker girl was. I had only seen him twice: once last weekend at Gaukurínn where we talked for a only little while, and then again when I ran into him on Laugi Thursday- when he asked me for my number. Of course he didn't call. What is with these Americans? I don't care if his father is the Pope of Rome, at least he could call me. Once. One of his friends tried to show an interest in me at the club but I just ignored him rather than fall for that kind of pick-up routine. Not that his friend was too ugly but I thought that any friend of Billy who would try such a trick must be somehow deranged.

Because all of that action wasn't quite enough fun for one night we then went to a strip club. When the bar lady found out I wasn't drinking she was nice enough to give me a glass of coke. While we were there all the usual stuff happened: some sketchy old lady asked me if I wanted a private show, then a drunken guy wanted us to hit on his married co-worker. The strippers walked around patting the Navy guys on the ass (to see how much money they had!) then after a while Billy and his friends came in so we gave up and went home. Both girls passed out in the car. So it was just me, with Emma drooling on my lap, who was awake to greet the sun coming up over highway 41.

   I think it might be a while until I go sober to a club again. It's just too depressing. What's up with Billy by the way, does he honestly think I'm just desperately in love with him and that I intentionally hunt him down? It's a small island. I can't help it if I keep running into him.

   Crazy Americans!

Posted at 0330 by Silu


   “So, that was what he was up to that summer,” thought Sean. He had wondered where Billy would disappear to for weeks at a time. Billy’s game was always the same, with only the playing field changing. He would fly in, pick his next conquest, alternately ignore or pay casual attention to her, and then turn on the heat as he went for the kill. From the young woman’s conflicted blog post it was evident to Sean that Billy’s sleazy charm had worked as well in Iceland as it had in the States. He must have had some success with her if he kept this post. Sean was going to read more of her blog, although he thought that she wouldn’t have felt like writing about him after she had been dumped.  Sean considered another possibility.  Billy might have had a change of heart;  the reason he had gone back to Iceland was that he had really fallen for someone this time. Not very likely. Billy probably had had at least a half-dozen other conquests. Sean made a mental note to have someone back at intelligence in Seattle see if they could find this “Silu.” She might be the key to Billy’s whereabouts.

   Sally had stopped snoring and began to stir so Sean shut down his laptop and looked out the window. There were traces of northern lights dancing in the distance. “No midnight sun this early in the year,” he thought.



Fiction

By Professor Batty

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Monday, April 02, 2012

Fish Leather and Dreams of Iceland


Fashion, Skólavörðurstígur, 2004

For all you dreamers out there...

It's been a while since I've done an overview of the Icelandic sites I've been visiting recently. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in Iceland, at least in the blogosphere. I've found several new sites and some of my old faves have been especially inspired lately. So, without further ado and in no particular order, respectfully submitted for your consideration:

The Saga-Steads of Iceland: A 21st-Century Pilgrimage by Emily Lethbridge, a 31-year-old Cambridge-based academic researcher. She is really into Iceland, past and present- a true fanatic.

Rósir og hraunbreiður (Roses and Lava) by Unnur Birna Karlsdóttir (Google translated) offers an intriguing look at Iceland and modern life.

Nancy Campbell is a writer and printmaker currently living in Siglufjörður.

I've mentioned I Heart Reykjavík before. This site keeps on getting better, an absolute must for anyone traveling to Reykjavík for the first time (or returning- things are changing rapidly.) Auður has the scoop on food, fashions and fun.

Maria Roff's Iceland Eyes has been especially fine lately with insightful essays complementing her eclectic photography. An honest portrayal of Iceland and also full of ideas of things to see and do.

Jono's Otto's son blog is from another Iceland-dreamer, he lives in Northern Minnesota, but has a genetic connection.

I'd Rather Be In Iceland by "Eva Lind" (no, she isn't Inspector Erlendur's daughter) says it all in the title. Hopelessly infatuated.

wdvalgardson's kaffihus is the blog of another "Western Icelander", the author is a true author, and his posts are exceptional- not for short-attention spans. His posts on Halldór Laxness' The Fish Can Sing and Paradise Regained are featured in the Laxness in Translation site.

Finally, that teen-age girl-group Pascal Pinon is touring Japan (What were you doing when you were 17?) in support of their album, with a new "Japan-only" EP. The link takes you to an index of sites related to PP. Don't forget to check out Ásthildur's home-made video including clips from their younger sisters- very dream-like!

By Professor Batty


Comments: 5 

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