Everyone: I’m delighted to be able to offer my translations of Icelandic Folk Legends for sale here on the blog!
I translated these stories back in 1998 or thereabouts. The book was reprinted in 2007 and on that occasion, this great review [which I think I read when it first came out, I just didn’t remember that it was so stellar] appeared in The Reykjavík Grapevine. Excerpt:
Icelandic Folk Legends is a vivid portrait of pre-20th century Iceland – as much in terms of living conditions and landscape as of imagination, values and belief. Part of its appeal is that the tales spring from the magical imagination that Iceland’s varied and unforgiving landscape inspires. Beyond that, however, the questions they raise offer a fascinating window onto the values espoused by close-knit, rural communities as they struggle with the natural and supernatural forces that threaten their everyday lives.
Icelandic Folk Legends: Tales of Apparitions, Outlaws and Things Unseen is hard-cover, 69 pages, and contains 12 traditional stories. As the Grapevine review says, they cover a broad spectrum – ghosts, hidden people, trolls, outlaws, witches, ogres, sorcerers and more. Something for everyone!
I’ve just been re-reading them and must say that even after all these years I’m still pleased with the translation [although I can’t resist the urge to nit-pick in the occasional place] and – more importantly – the stories themselves. They’re really very good and provide such a great sense of the Icelandic national character and the forces that have shaped it.
The stories are:
1. The Deacon of Myrká Church*
2. The Hidden Woman’s Curse
3. The Outlaw on Kiduvallafjall Mountain
4. The Legend of Úlfsvatn Lake
5. The Vanished Bride
6. Þorgeir’s Bull
7. Kráka the Ogre
9. The Church Builder
10. Fostered by a Hidden Woman
11. The Hidden Man and the Girl
12. Satan Takes a Wife
I’m offering this here because I’ve reached an agreement with the publisher, meaning I just buy them wholesale and see to the packing and distributing myself. Consequently it’s a rather rudimentary operation – I’m not going to set up a shopping cart, for instance, but would ask those who would like to order a copy [or copies!] to simply click on the PayPal DONATE button in the sidebar on the right [which hasn’t seen much action lately], and deposit your payment as a donation, making sure to include your address so I can send it off to you.
And finally – I’m offering them for the bargain price of USD 19.99, plus postage. Unfortunately the postage and related costs [i.e. padded envelopes] is rather high, or USD 8 for Europe and USD 12 for all other countries – so depending on where you live, it would be either USD 27.99 or USD 31.99. I promise to send the book[s] off to you within five days [weekdays] of ordering, barring circumstances beyond my control [say, if I can’t get a hold of any books from the publisher]. Also, I reserve the right to amend the price at any time, for instance if the exchange rate alters dramatically.
If you like Iceland and Icelandic folklore, I guarantee you’ll like this book. Here’s hoping for a good response – and if you do order it, make sure you visit this post again and leave your impressions in the comments. I’ll leave a link to it in the sidebar.
IT HAS BEEN RAINING ALL DAY
Intermittently. It’s nice. Nice because the temps are so mild and spring is in the air and the day gets longer all the time and we just know that summer, with its white-hot daylight, is just around the corner. Right now it is pouring, temps are 5°C [41F], the sun came up at 6.24 and set at 8.27.
* probably Iceland’s best-known ghost story, wery spooky!
PS if you order in the next couple of days, please note that I won’t be able to send any copies off until after Easter.
NB: Please make sure you deposit a sufficient amount — if your deposit is below the required amount I’m afraid can’t send you a book. I’ll just assume you’re making a regular donation [which of course maybe you are, in which case – thank you!]