For those of you who are interested and have time on your hands

I've been writing this for a long time. Seriously, I started it months ago, and I don't think I can make it much better, although it remains ridiculously long and unfocused. I tried to answer the question of how I became interested in Iceland, and I'm going to put it on its own page where it will be out of the way. It is probably quite boring if you're not me, but who knows, perhaps some of you will enjoy the insight into my brain/past.

This is your chance to empathise with my room-mate in first year that time when I got a bit drunk and would not shut up about Iceland. Except you can stop reading, whereas as I recall she sat there and nodded politely until I talked myself to sleep.


  1. An absorbing essay. Perhaps because I've been bitten by the Iceland bug as well I read it to the end. Twice. A few years ago, in my blog, I dealt with my own response to the "Why Iceland" question, there are a few parallels in it to your essay, but more differences:

    Outside of Iceland, you and I don't have a lot in common, but I find that to be true of many of the people I've met who have been fascinated with the place and its culture. So I guess there is no one answer the "Why" of Iceland.

    I will offer this quote from Laxness, suitable for the season:

    "When the peace of Autumn has become poetic instead of being taken for granted...the last day of the plover become a matter of personal regret...the horse become associated with the history of art and mythology...the evening ice-film on the farm stream become reminiscent of crystal...and the smoke from the chimney become a message to us from those who discovered fire - then the time has come to say goodbye. The world-bacterium has overcome you, the countryside has turned into literature, poetry and art; and you no longer belong there."

    ~The Atom Station

    I've enjoyed reading your blog, many thanks for your writing and images.

  2. Thanks very much!

    Yes, that bit made me quite sad the first time I read The Atom Station, because I tend to think of everything in terms of literature, poetry and art. It's so irreversible, this idea of world-bacterium. I think though it is probably at least partly a comment on Laxness' own inability to really 'belong' anywhere, which of course he would blame on his status as a poet.

  3. Wonderful essay Abi! I am not as eloquent as you or Batty and, therefor, do not blog. I may try in the future, but for now I just enjoy reading the well-written words of others. It is difficult to say why I am drawn to Iceland even though I had an Icelandic grandfather. I first went to Iceland on a personal mission with my brother and was blown away by what I found and what I have since learned. The land, the arts, the culture all have something that draws us for various reasons. You have done well with your essay explaining some of your own reasons. If things go well I will be able to return to Iceland in late spring, but it will be a short stay leaving me longing for more, no doubt.

  4. I really wouldn't call it an essay, but yeah, cheers!