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.