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.
The Garden Past the Monsters
Rain and birdsong, friends’ voices chatting and laughing, woodwinds, breathy strings, muted piano, the strumming of an acoustic guitar. That’s the gentle and dreamy world that greets the listener on the opening of Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s first solo album How
On the Edge of Glory
By the start of Iceland’s latest basketball season, the northerners of Tindastóll, from Sauðárkrókur (pop. 2,612), had made it to
From the Archive: The Ancient Art of Glíma
From the archive: In this 1999 article from Iceland Review, Jón Ívarson delves into the history of Icelandic wrestling. Note
In 2021, when a lower capelin quota was issued in Iceland than had been anticipated, Landsbankinn bank lowered its GDP
Despite Iceland’s image as a leader in green technologies, per capita household waste has been steadily trending upwards in the
To the Manor Born
The story of the Baron of Hvítárvellir A bright, mild, late-summer Sunday greeted the festive locals in the Borgarfjörður region
The Quiet Game
FICTION The Quiet Game by Halla Þórlaug Óskarsdóttir I have twice been asked to stop screaming, both times in a
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 11 until his death aged 71 in 1648. Contemporaries described him as above average height, most often dressed in French
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 legally avoid paying taxes on the profit. Instead, he demanded that the purchase price be paid as salary to maximise the
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
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 […]