Halldór Laxness

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

Townsman and Countryman

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 that that of the townsman's feverish search for pleasure should mould people of unstable, hare-brained character, who think only of their personal appearance and their clothes and find momentary comfort in foolish fashions and other such worthless innovations? The countryman, on the other hand walks out into the verdant meadows, into an atmosphere clear and pure, and as he breaths it into his lungs some unknown power streams through his limbs, invigorating body and soul. The peace in nature fills his mind with calm and cheer, the bright green grass under his feet awakens a sense of beauty, almost of reverence. In the fragrance that is borne so sweetly to his nostrils, in the quietude that broods so blissfully around him, there is comfort and rest. The hillsides, the dingles, the waterfalls, and the mountains are all friends of his childhood, and never to be forgotten.

Halldór Laxness, in 'Independent People'
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
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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