Fiskarnir hafa enga fætur E–pub/Kindle
Centred on the character of Ari a now middle aged ex poet and publisher and has three interwoven strands set in different timesIn the present day he is returning from self imposed exile in Denmark after the self inflicted break up of his marriage to meet the narrator in Keflavik A second strand covers Ari and the narrator s teenage years in Keflavik in the late 1970s and 1980s at the time when the town was the home of the US military And a third strand reaches back much further in time to give us the story of Ari s paternal grandfather Oddur a fisherman and his grandmother Margr t The effect is to create a slightly uneasy blend of the wonderfully evocative uniue and timeless prose of the earlier books with a conventional tale of Nordic life in 197080s which takes us into territory already firmly staked out by other writers Knausgaard is an obvious reference but I was struck by the resemblance to Lars Saaybe ChristensenThe book also suffers a little from it s nature as a trilogy combined with the non linear nature of the story as exactly how it all pieces together is rather unclear For example by the time the novel finishes Oddur and Margr t have 4 children but Ari s father and his aunt Erin have yet to be born And the novel finishes on a teaser for book 2 and tomorrow something will happen that s beyond our controlThe prose at times also seemed unnecessarily repetitive I suspect the intent was to create a poetic sense of rhythm but it instead came across unfairly I now as closer to lazy writingtranslation To give an example in just the first 20 pages there were 5 metaphorical screams a residue of lava at first is an old scream there is a cliff jutting into the unsettled sea like a giant fist or scream a car screamed through the night we journey past mountain passes shaped like screams and most significantly for the story and what I suspect the other occurrences are intended to echo Ari s hand swept like a scream across the La ballade de Pern tome 1 - extrait offert kitchen table ending his marriage And the narrative device also doesn t uite work The Heaven and Hell trilogy was narrated by essentially the voices of those lost at sea enabling them to naturally interject at times with a commentary on events Here the narrator is ostensibly Aki s childhood friend cousin at times part of the story himself but at others remarkably absent from the same events And the narrative voice at times observes Ari from the outside at timesnows things only Ari would now and at times slips into the same style as the trilogy eg A stormy death and night are thus the beginning the cause the reason why we bring you this story Indeed the uestion of exactly who is the narrator does he even exist or is this an alter ego of Ari himself is never clear and became to me rather distracting Perhaps another one for books 2 and 3My favourite parts of the story were the tales of Oddur and Margr t but those are exactly the parts that largely echo the Heaven and Hell trilogy Although it was interesting to see how fishing life has progressed since those novels I was struck in the earlier novels that none of the fishermen could swim and Oddur is a pioneer in challenging that conventionOthers gossip but certainly not to his face
that Oddur is something of a coward behind all that unbending toughness He has learned Oddur is something of a coward behind all that unbending toughness He has learned swim insists his crew do as well and the very #height of absurdity even installed a lifeboat on his trawler To waste valuable space on a lifeboat #of absurdity even installed a lifeboat on his trawler To waste valuable space on a lifeboat the old days when men where men all they thought about was catching enough fish they had no time for safety If something happened an accident a dangerous swell you had to deal with it as best you could show what sort of man you were and if it wasn t enough well then your time was simply up time to pack your belongings and leave Things have changed obviously there s a clear difference between the champions of the past and the presentI have been a little critical in this review but my benchmark is the wonderful earlier novels and the book in it s own right is still a worthwhile read and I trust Philip Roughton is already hard at work on translating Eitthva st r vi alheiminn polishing the English working title may be his first task Image Monument to Might of the sea by Steinunn rarinsd ttir on the outskirts of Sandger i It all began with death In every death there s a new lifeThe heart is a muscle light is indled the sea and snow enhance and limit life eyes are vividly described words and stories have mystical power and angels look out over tussocks Reading the first thirty pages was like snuggling into the welcoming embrace of a beloved grandparent But like the aged relative things are not uite as remembered This book deserves to be reviewed in its own right but I can t Every page has a shadow of the white wings of the separate Heaven and Hell trio that I reviewed here There s familiarity in the language and themes and the way phrases are reworked and repeated acuiring the hypnotic power of liturgy But as I settled into the tangled timelines I craved the simple incisive and ethereal beauty of the passages set in the past rather than the teenage angst iconic music mid life crises and socio economic and political history of the contemporary chapters I was less interested in Ari and his narrating cousin than in their grandparents Oddur and Margr t A Family History This is subtitled A Family History but the family is wider than Ari and his immediate relatives This is a Bildungsroman of a nation Individuals relish and abhor the opportunities and pain of adolescence plan and cultivate their place in the adult world and look back with affectionate nostalgia stained with regret Women and men challenge the limitations and expectations of their traditional roles And underpinning them all Iceland shakes off the shackles of Danish and US imperialism and forges an independent identity in the iconic black lava of the land A human being s life becomes at most a few isolated notes without a melody random sounds instead of music which is why we ve brought you this account of generations So that you ll now and hopefully never forget that everyone was once young so you realise that sooner or later we all must burn burn with passion happiness joy justice desire because these are the fires that light up the darkness that hold the wolves of oblivion at bay the fires Zu verschwinden Der preisgekrönte wortmächtige Menschenschilderer Jón Kalman Stefánsson läuft in diesem großen Familienroman zur Höchstform .
Fish Have No Feet follows a young man named Ari home to his childhood town of Keflavik Iceland Ari returns to Keflavi I have rarely reviewed the books I hold the most dearly on this blog I am afraid that my words will tarnish them that my words and their author s words have no business being on the same pageSo it is with Fish Have No Feet by J n Kalman Ste Fish Have No Feet by J n Kalman Stef nsson translated by Philip Roughton5 stars 10 out of 10Ever since I was a child I have wanted to visit Iceland Twenty years ago I made it there albeit only for some hours at Keflav airport as a refuelling stop A few years after that I spent a wonderful couple of weeks in Iceland walking and sightseeing Since then I have read anything available about the country so I am very pleased that Fish Have No Feet is now available in English translated by Philip Roughton published in August 2016This novel is ostensibly the story of Ari who returns to Iceland after many years of living abroad By his musings and inner thoughts we are also introduced to his childhood and growing up in Iceland people and places that he nows from the past and the lives of some of his ancestorsThe narrative is interspersed with reflective passages eg about love and historical passages eg about the fishing uota system in a way that really enhances the novel The story line meanders to and fro past and present I found I needed to concentrate whilst I was reading this book but it was well worth the effortI loved the reflective nature of the book Perhaps my favourite passage was about the seven ptarmigans I also liked that so much of the underlying themes related to literature and especially to poetryThe translation by Philip Roughton reads very easily I found the footnotes very helpful in my understanding of some of the situations and people mentioned in the book They gave me information that I now want to follow up eg re the Icelandic poet Einar Benediktsson It suited me that the footnotes were in fact at the bottom of the relevant page rather than at the end of the bookI have twice narrowly missed talks given by J n Kalman Stef nsson one in Copenhagen and the other in Edinburgh I m hoping that I organise the timing of my visits better in the future My priority now is to read others of Stef nsson s novels that have also been translated into EnglishThank you to uercus Books and to NetGalley for an ARC Words and music are at the core of this contemporary story set in Keflavik Surrounded by miles and miles of black lava fields and a fishless sea the town has lost its natural sustenance to regulation and globalized modernity This is the desolate place Ari returns to when he hears of his dying father after having run away to Copenhagen in a desperate attempt to escape his failures as a husband and son Haunted by his remorse and inadeuacies he is confronted with a stream of unsummoned memories that shaped his youth and later adulthood and the past as short as a hesitation but as deadly as a dagger drags him down into an existential journey that threatens his zest for life his love for poetry his faith in the healing power of musicThe beauty and menace of the Icelandic landscape that inspired Ari to #make of writing his livelihood is of no use find words to express the #of writing his livelihood is no use to find words to express the and the music of the eighties the silence of snowstorms in wintertime and the legacy of his ancestors struggles to survive blend into a subdued chorus of voices that conducted by an anonymous first person narrator navigates the ocean of time back and forth taking the reader alternately into the inner depths of Ari s subconscious and his grandparents life story in a remote village on the eastern coast of the island Stef nsson composes his tale of sorrow and woe painting a tapestry of recurrent paradoxical imageryWords that "WERE MISSING TO BECALM THE STIRRED " missing to becalm the stirred between Ari s grandparents are still missing between Ari and his wronged wife or his detached father but they give meaning to otherwise meaningless lives in this small community at the end of the worldFists clenched tight that are a symbol of a love declaration a mute poem to youth and beauty can also be the means to abuse women and girls who issed the world with their innocent freckles before they were misused as disposable objectsThe cold moon that sings a lethal serenade that lures lost souls into the sea also sparkles with hope against the darkness of night and the disillusionments of daily life welcoming the helpless the hopeless and the exiledPresent and past remembrance and forgetfulness oblivion and guilt life and death light and darkness co exist in this novel summoning the eternal battle between good and evil and the ancient forces that define mankindIn spite of the delicate tint of Stef nsson s lyrical writing style he doesn t shy away from the ugliness and brutality that taints human nature and fights them instead by elevating the power of literature language and music to the divine with words to guide our steps past the treacherous shadows of fear to where the sanctuary of love and forgiveness awaits us One of these two stars belongs to the translator I did a full 175 minute review of this on my YouTube channel link is in my bio so I m not going to bother with going into too much detail here Suffice it to say that this book was a massive disappointment for me despite being one of my most anticipated longlist readsIn my honest opinion this was a poorly written book with overly flowery language for the sake of having words on the page This writing didn t enhance the book at all instead highlighting the fact that most of the imagery used had little to no meaning There were moments of real sexism here too and just so many eye rolling instances that I almost put the book down Thankfully the sections in the past following the characters of Oddur and Margret saved it a little bit for me along with the pretty excellent translation by Phillip RoughtonHonestly though I wouldn t bother with this one again and I wouldn t reco Here is the gist of the story A middle aged Icelander Ari has returned from a two year stay in Copenhagen Denmark It is the beginning of the 21st century He is a poet and a novelist The person telling the tale is a friend from his youth The story covers three time periods Ari s return to Iceland his youth in. Das hier ist Aris Geschichte Und die seiner isländischen Familie Sie umspannt ein Jahrhundert voller Erinnerungen an Aris Großvater Oddur die Beatl.