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The art exhibition, “Fabulous Iceland: From Sagas to Novels”, chronicling the literary inspiration of Iceland, which opened at Lincoln Center on April 1, is available on the Internet, at
Through a series of interviews, the journalist Petur Blondal asked 25 contemporary Icelandic authors to describe their relationships with Icelandic literary traditions and the influence these traditions have on their work. The result is an Icelandic literary history, distilled into individual short stories and coupled with portraits taken by Kristinn Ingvarsson.
Iceland’s rich narrative tradition dates back to the Middle Ages and is often apparent in contemporary Icelandic literature. Iceland has managed to maintain its literary traditions due to the consistency of the Icelandic language over several centuries, along with the vast archive of characters, stories, narrative techniques and imagery found in traditional Icelandic literature. These influences leave an abundant literary repository for new texts to draw upon.
“It has always fascinated me to hear of the places that writers seek inspiration,” said Petur Blondal. “In the Icelandic literary scene they may reach back many ages to the Icelandic Sagas or to the works of Nobel prize author Halldor Laxness from last century. Or the colorful and lively artist parties at their childhood home could have made all the difference. In diverse voices, all of these authors stories flow from one generation to the other and hopefully they become an inspiration for new authors.”
The exhibition features 23 Icelandic authors who have told their story of literary inspiration, which is depicted as text beneath their portraits. This exhibition provides visitors with a view on Icelandic contemporary literature and the roots of its inspiration as well as an insight to the Icelandic Sagas and Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature. In New York City, the exhibit was housed at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at Lincoln Center.
Iceland Naturally is a cooperative marketing organization that promotes the tourism, services, products and culture of Iceland. It represents the true essence of Iceland, its creativity and spectacular natural wonders. The group is comprised of Icelandair, Icelandic USA, Inc., Islandsbanki, Reyka Vodka, City of Reykjavík, Icelandic Glacial Water, 66° NORTH, Blue Lagoon, Keflavik International Airport (KEF), Landsvirkjun, Promote Iceland and the Government of Iceland.
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