Hallgrimur Helgason Quotes.
As a writer, you have to be mean and vicious. Use the pen as your gun. Sometimes the people you write about get hurt.
In Iceland, book lives matter in every sense of that phrase: The shelf-life of the book, the lives in the book, the life of the writer, and the life of the reader.
My three years in Manhattan were sort of my university years. I was learning by myself, and it was a tough time. That’s when I began writing articles for newspapers back home about life in New York. This interest took over, and I moved from painting to writing.
Being a writer in Iceland, you get rewarded all the time: People really do read our books, and they have opinions; they love them, or they hate them. At the average Christmas party, people push politics and the Kardashians aside and discuss literature.
Everything is very expensive in Iceland, so I got some things done in India in the two months I was here. I visited the dentist, the optician, the tailor. When I go home, I’ll have a new smile, a new wardrobe, and spectacles.
Nabokov can be almost too delicate at times, but in ‘Lolita,’ he puts his aristocratic sensitivity to use in such a dark tale that it creates this great tension between the story being told and the style that it’s written in. And it’s just amazing that one of the best novels in English was written by a Russian.
Writing in English made me become a foreigner in my own country. It helped me create the necessary distance to my homeland.
… I stare into the fridge. Like a mirrored image of myself. Cold and empty, and the lights come on only when you open the door. Otherwise ice-cold purring darkness.
In the Nordic countries, there are hardly any societal problems, but we writers are bloodthirsty people like anyone else, so we have to quench this thirst with literature. If you live in a mafia state with lots of violence on the streets, you tend to write beautiful poetry.
I want the government to resign and an emergency government to be proclaimed, preferably made up of women. They can’t do worse than men.
Thanks to the Jolabokaflod, books still matter in Iceland; they get read and talked about. Excitement fills the air. Every reading is crowded; every print run is sold.
You can’t write my types of books without hurting someone.
Iceland is a rich country, but in the early 21st century, this prosperity got to our heads, and in 2008, it collapsed.
We have to save ourselves from ourselves. We have to minimize the effect our own politicians can have on our society. We have to get some rules from the outside.