Ice Friday: Halldor Laxness

Halldor Laxness’s Independent People, an epic tale of a 19th-Century Icelandic sheep farmer, offers ruminations across the spectrum:

On birth: It’s marvelous, you know, when you come to think of it: there you have a new body and a new soul suddenly making an appearance, and where do they come from and why are they always coming? (127) 20150708_113236On childhood: Those were good days. They were serene days and undemonstrative, like the best day in one’s life; the boy never forgot them. Nothing happens; one simply lives and breathes and wishes for nothing more, and nothing more. (188)

On the toils of life: No wonder that the soul is cheerless, that hope is small in people’s hearts, that there is little comfort in lying awake at night. Even the most beautiful memories lose their luster like a shining silver coin that collects verdigris because it has been lost. 20150714_221159And, finally, on sin: Sin is God’s most precious gift. (325)