Icelandic Author Receives Respected Culture Prize Skip to content

Icelandic Author Receives Respected Culture Prize

Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason will be presented with the respected Kairos culture prize on February 28 next year. It is under the auspices of the Alfred Toepfer Institute and is intended for artists working in the field of visual arts, music, architecture, film, photography, literature and mass media.

Andri Snaer Magnason. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Magnason received the news only 24 hours after an online vote revealed that readers in Iceland find two of his books, Dreamland and The Story of the Blue Planet, best among those that have been granted the Icelandic Literary Award through the years, mbl.is reports.

“This has been a pretty amazing week. It was pleasing to get this news [about the books on Tuesday] and then Karios was announced [yesterday], which is a great honor,” Magnason said.

The prize is named after the Greek god Kairos who was the god of “the right moment,” and seeks to encourage and promote young artists. The Alfred Toepfer Institute has awarded prizes in the field of culture and arts for many years, as stated on the website Fabulous Iceland.

The adjudication committee based its choice, among other things, on the fact that the writer has managed to turn the poet’s peaceful relationship with nature on its head; rather than just celebrating it, he encourages action.

In its citation it says that Magnason “does not consider poetry and the struggle on behalf of Mother Nature, aesthetic perception and peaceful demonstration, to be mutually exclusive, rather that they support one another.”

It further says that a significant influence on the choice was his book Draumalandid (Dreamland), published in 2006, where he deals with the effect of large-scale industry on Icelandic nature.

The press release from the Alfred Toepfer Institute says: “He uses humour and persuasiveness as he lends to an unideological [sic] but powerful grass-root [sic] movement his voice and his creative talent.”

Click here to read our review of Dreamland.

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