Halldór Laxness

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

Quotes

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Strange though it may seem, people rarely show such enthusiasm as when they are seeking the proof of a ghost story — the soul gathers all this sort of thing to its hungry bosom.

Independent People
A wise man once said that next to losing its mother, there is nothing more healthy for a child than to lose its father.

The Fish Can Sing
He did not know what to say in the face of such sorrow. He sat in silence by his sister's side in the spring verdure, which was too young; and the hidden strings in his breast began to quiver; and to sound. This was the first time that he had ever looked into the labyrinth of the human soul.

Independent People
The tyranny of mankind; it was like the obstinate drip of water falling on a stone and hollowing it little by little; and this drip continued, falling obstinately, falling without pause on the souls of the children.

Independent People
The life of man is so short that ordinary people simply cannot afford to be born.

Independent People
What you have stolen can never be yours.

Under the Glacier
Whoever doesn't live in poetry cannot survive here on earth.

Under the Glacier
Human beings, in point of fact, are lonely by nature, and one should feel sorry for them and love them and mourn with them. It is certain that people would understand one another better and love one another more if they would admit to one another how lonely they were, how sad they were in their tormented, anxious longings and feeble hopes.
Remember, any lie you are told, even deliberately, is often a more significant fact than a truth told in all sincerity.

Under the Glacier
For man is essentially alone, and one should pity him and love him and grieve with him.
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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