Deep North - Stories from Iceland
Iceland Review publishes translations of short stories by Icelandic authors.
Deep dives into current events, contemporary issues, and the lesser-seen sides of Icelandic society.
Interviews with artists, scholars, politicians or other notable figures in Iceland.
View Iceland through the lens of some of the country's most accomplished photographers.
Looking back in Iceland's history, at the curious incidents, colourful characters, and heroic deeds that shaped the nation.
From the Archive: The Changing Face of Iceland
From the archive: In this 1971 article from Iceland Review, Haraldur Sigurðsson delves into the history of Icelandic cartography. Note that this archival content may not necessarily reflect the current editorial standards of Iceland Review. Those who know something about
President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir got to know her countrymen intimately during the presidential campaign in early 1980 — the first such
FICTION the dip by Örvar Smárason When my fingers started falling off, it became harder and harder to put my
Individually, snowflakes are fragile, easily broken, dissolving into droplets of water at the mere touch of a finger or a
“A brutal ballet of flesh and bone” It’s Saturday night – and it’s feckin’ freezing. Seven below. Even inside the
Tall Tales and Treacherous Waters
The 17th-century voyage of Jón the India Traveller Christian IV was King of Denmark and Norway from the age of
Man of the Year
This is Haraldur Þorleifsson. In 2021 he sold his company, Ueno, to Twitter. During the sale process, he was advised how to
Born and Bread
On visits to my grandfather’s farm, I would often follow him around, helping him with the farmyard tasks. In the early afternoon, perhaps after mending a fence, we would come inside to have some coffee and flatbread topped with butter
Floating Through Oblivion
OASIS The word oasis refers to a fertile area in the desert. The essential component of the concept is water, for the area is made fertile because of it. The popular image is a half-dozen palm trees, huddled religiously around a small pond, surrounded by an expanse of sand. Although there are no smouldering deserts […]
Unnsteinn’s insights from half a lifetime in the music industry. It’s the last night of the Iceland Airwaves festival. There have been some good shows and a few bad ones. I’ve stopped trying to adhere to my thoroughly-researched festival plan in favour of a more vibe-based approach. What sounds like fun? As a more-interesting-than-expected act […]
RIDING THE WAVE
It started in an airplane hangar at the turn of the century but quickly became synonymous with the Icelandic music scene. It grew, it downsized, and grew in scope again. It saw some big names before turning its back on them to focus on fostering up-and-coming artists. It’s seen a banking collapse and a pandemic […]
Cream of the Crop
Row after row of steep but flat-topped mountains, interspersed with deep fjords. There’s barely enough land in between to make up a coastline, let alone farmland. But on the green patches between the cliffs and the waves, there are still more than a handful of farms dotting the landscape. The Westfjords have always been isolated, […]
When Canadian media theorist and philosopher Marshall McLuhan wrote that “the medium is the message,” he did not mean that the content of all emails is somehow the same, given their common encoding as emails. Rather, he meant to critique the idea that communication is like a parcel service: we pack down messages into their containers, send them off, and they are received by their recipients in just the same state as when we sent them. Just as all language is not the same: a short “hey” can, depending on the situation, mood, interlocutors, volume, and so on be a greeting, a warning, a verbal touch on the shoulder.
The medium is not a neutral space through which a message passes, untouched. Rather, the medium plays a constituting role in the creative process, and when we interpret the artwork, we must pay just as much attention to the technologies, processes, and materials that made the work of art as the ideas and forms that shaped them.
Ásatrú Society, how may I help you?” This was neither the voice of a gruff metalhead nor the voice of a wizened mystic, interrupted in his esoteric ponderings by the phone. To be frank, I was surprised. Over the next
“Exceptionally rudimentary software” On Friday, November 11, I attended an appointment with a psychologist in Reykjavík. For weeks leading up to the appointment, my wife had encouraged me to “see someone,” for my moods were vacillating, my fuse was growing increasingly shorter, and I was prone to habitual crashes. I didn’t, she observed, seem “all […]
Elsa Pálsdóttir was doing what she loved most: Deadlifting. As she rested between sets, she chit-chatted with a man of Polish extraction, who was likewise availing himself of the equipment in the snug Massi gym in Njarðvík. When their conversation came to a close, Elsa’s interlocutor turned to another gym patron, an older Icelander, and […]
Disaster on Dark Seas
U-300 On the morning of November 20, 1944, a single U-boat cruised silently at periscope depth beneath the rough waves of the North Atlantic, lurking just a few kilometres off the Northwest coast of Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula. The lone periscope was virtually invisible in the turbulent grey ocean waters. The German submarine, type VIIC/41, designated […]
Getting the Word Out
The Icelandic Literature Centre awards grants to some 80-100 translations from Icelandic to other languages each year. The number of applications for translation grants has been steadily increasing. Icelandic books have been translated into around 50 languages. Three recently published Icelandic to English translations: Three recently published Icelandic to English translations: Quake (Stóri skjálfti) by Auður Jónsdóttir (trans. Meg […]
The Right to Bear Arms
I’m sitting in a hotel lobby, scribbling some last-minute notes in my notebook before the interview. I look up and notice Guðmundur Felix Grétarsson entering so I raise a hand to let him know I’m here. He waves back, and I get up to greet him. He shakes my hand, and I introduce myself before he points to a small room where we can chat undisturbed. Nothing about this exchange feels remarkable to me, but Guðmundur Felix has a different perspective.