Raddir í loftinu. Anthology of Contemporary Icelandic Literature
The Vilenica Anthologies, Slovene Writers’ Association, 2020
Authors: Kristín Marja Baldursdóttir, Gyrðir Elíasson, Þórdís Gísladóttir, Jónas Reynir Gunnarsson, Hallgrímur Helgason, Dagur Hjartarson, Fríða Ísberg, Auður Jónsdóttir, Hildur Knútsdóttir, Andri Snær Magnason, Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir, Sverrir Norland, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Bragi Ólafsson, Ragnar Helgi Ólafsson, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Sigurður Pálsson, Ragna Sigurðardóttir, Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, Bergþóra Snæbjörnsdóttir.
Translations: Miljana Cunta, Miriam Drev, Iva Klemenčič, Ana Pepelnik, Andrej Pleterski, Lucija Stupica.
Editors: Sverrir Norland and Lucija Stupica
This anthology is published with the support of the Slovenian Book Agency, the Icelandic Literature Center – Miðstöð íslenskra bókmennta and the European Commission.
The 2020 festival focused on Icelandic literature by publishing the Raddir í loftinu, an anthology of Icelandic literature. Co-editor Sverrir Norland introduced it as follows:
“Recently, I came upon a wonderful Icelandic word, sorgarfegurð, which describes writers’ difficult position very well. Like German (Icelandic is a Germanic language), Icelandic can create new words by merging existing ones. Sorgarfegurð is a composite of sadness and beauty. I think it is very close in meaning to the Portuguese word saudade, but is even more precise as it refers to yearning something that will never return. Icelanders think that the world is constantly disappearing before our eyes. Our culture is a very good example: it seems it is taking its last breaths every day. Every day when we wake up, we first start reviving the language by writing and speaking it. Writing in Icelandic is not limited to new stories and articles about bringing down capitalist pigs; it literally means breathing life into words every time we use them. We inspire language just like trees and phytoplankton inspire us. The word for inspiration in Icelandic is innblástur. In Latin, this means ‘to breathe in life’. If I or someone else who can also speak these ancient fragile words do not do it no-one will. […] I am very happy that I can introduce several good friends and allies of mine. Writers are voices in the air. To exist, they need someone to listen. I am happy that we have brought several of our literary voices to Slovenia, among another nation with a small population, which, however, is not built from lava, the endless ocean and nyorka but beautiful forest, wolves and – I assume – similar sadness we grow up with. I think you will understand our sorgarfegurð.”