Thursday, March 01, 2012


I have seen the universe!
It is made of poems!

The Blue Fox
A novel by Sjón
Telegram Books, London, 2008
Translated by Victoria Cribb

This beautiful and peculiar short novel takes place in Iceland over the span of a few days in 1883. A reverend, a naturalist, a woman with Downs syndrome (Abba), an "eejit" and a blue fox are the book's primary characters, characters whose lives are intertwined by fate.

The book is filled with symmetries. The reverend and the naturalist, Abba and the eejit, the naturalist and the eejit (and Abba as well), the blue fox and the reverend, all mirror each other. Sjón is a noted Icelandic poet (and occasional lyricist for Björk) and there are moments when his prose becomes poetry, and his realism becomes mystic. Victoria Cribb's translation flows, never wordy, never awkward. A great introduction to modern Icelandic fiction, and to the ephemeral attraction of Iceland.

For more about this fascinating story, check out Caroline's review.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous I'd Rather Be in Iceland said...

I looked at this book several times when in Iceland (along with other works by the same author). It seemed like it was going to be beyond me...luckily you read all the books that I don't so between us we probably have them all covered! I picked up Zombie Iceland instead which says it all really.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

Have you read Auður's review of Zombie Iceland?

She has a great site for finding quirky things to do in Reykjavík.

We did a photo/text show together in 2005, she has a natural, conversational style of writing.

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