Halldór Laxness

Iceland
23 Apr 1902 // 8 Feb 1998
Writer [Nobel Prize in Literature 1955]

Texts



Townsman and Countryman (1)

Townsfolk have no conception of the peace that mother nature bestows, and as long as that peace is unfound the spirit must seek to quench its thirst with ephemeral novelties. And what is more natural...

Every Day You Quicken Into Motion Waves (2)

Remember that every day you quicken into motion waves that undulate on to the very confines of existence; you stir up waves that break upon the shores of eternity itself. And it is of much importance...

Poetry with its Bright Palaces (3)

The distinctive features of the world's civilisations are not simply and solely the giraffe and the city of Rome, as the children may perhaps have been led to imagine on the first evening, but also t...

Nothing is so Pointless as Words (4)

Because no one of us lives for himself and no one dies for himself. For if we live, then we live for the Lord; and if we die, then we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we belong to ...

No One Can Help It (5)

But he could not help it. No one can help it. One is a realist. One has put up with it all ever since childhood; one has had the courage to look it full in the eye, possibly courage enough to look it...

The Source of the Greatest Song (6)

This was the first time that he has ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul. He was very far from understanding what he saw. But what was of more value, he felt and suffered with her. In yea...

Heavy Rain (7)

Shortly afterwards it started raining, very innocently at first, but the sky was packed tight with cloud and gradually the drops grew bigger and heavier, until it was autumn’s dismal rain that was fa...


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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays