Many of Iceland’s national treasures are on display in the Culture House’s featured exhibition Medieval Manuscripts – Eddas and Sagas. It includes the principal medieval manuscripts, such as Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda and the compendium Flateyjarbók, as well as law codices and Christian works, not to forget the Sagas of Icelanders. An important paper manuscript from later centuries is also displayed.
The old vellum manuscripts preserve the Northern classical heritage: unique sagas, poems and narratives which are often our sole written sources of information on the society, religion and world view of the people of Northern Europe from pagan times through the tumult of Viking Expansion, the settlement of the Atlantic Islands and the period of Christianisation.
The exhibition focuses on the period preceding the writing of the manuscripts, their origins and role, manuscript collecting, editions, and on their reception in Iceland and abroad. It also portrays the process of book making itself: preparing the vellum and ink, writing, illuminating etc. are explained in a special exhibit area.
Icelandic folklore, myth, poetry and other literary subjects are common in the sculptures of Ásmundur Sveinsson (1893-1982). Comprising key works from the museum’s collection, the exhibition explores the literary motifs that inspired this important pioneer of Icelandic sculpture.
Monday 20 May 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ásmundur Sveinsson 120th Anniversary. Free admission.
Sunday 2 June 2 p.m.
Þorbjörg Gunnarsdóttir Museologist discusses the work of Ásmundur in public space. Guided tour in the sculpture garden as well as throughout the city.
Sunday 11 August 3 p.m.
Guided tour through the exhibition Tales from the Vault.
An international symposium in honour of one of Iceland‘s greatest authors, Guðbergur Bergsson, will be held at the University of Iceland’s Main Hall on Saturday, June 1st. An impressive group of scholars, translators and writers, both from Iceland and abroad, will cast light on Bergsson‘s work in an international context. Among the topics are the language and translation of world literature, the translations of Bergsson‘s work into other languages, his aesthetics and the dialogue between his work and those of other writers in Iceland and elsewhere. Guests will be invited on a journey into the world of literature and the immensely rich work of Bergsson.
Keynote speakers include writer Colm Tóibín, writer and translator Luísa Costa Gomes, translators Eric Boury, Enrique Bernárdez and Massimo Rizzante, and the visual artist and translator Hans Brückner. Former President of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, will address the symposium.
The symposium is hosted by the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute of Foreign Languages, the University of Manitoba’s Department of Icelandic Language and Literature, Reykjavik UNESCO City of Literature, the Ministries of Education, Culture and Foreign Affairs, the University of Iceland and the town of Grindavik. The program is part of the Reykjavik Arts Festival program.
Photo of author: Guðni Þorbjörnsson.More
The Reykjavík International Literary Festival will take place on September 11 to September 15, 2013. The program consists of readings, seminars, interviews and discussions with both international and Icelandic authors. And you can also meet your favorite author and dance with him or her on the Bi-Annual Literary Ball on the Saturday evening.
A detailed program will be published in the summer of 2013 with a list of participants, venues, collaborators and all you need to know about the wonderful Reykjavík International Literary Festival, one of the most important literary festivals in Europe.
The festival will take place at the Nordic House, Idno Theater, Harpa and other locations in central Reykjavík. The annual congress of PEN International will be hosted in Reykjavík and coincide with the festival. A joint program will be announced later.