Icelandic Literature


"Where to begin when describing Icelandic literature? Should the story start in the year 1000 when, according to the Icelandic scholar Sigurður Nordal, the Völuspá – one of the most beautiful and dramatic poems in Old Norse literature – was composed in Iceland? Whatever the case may be, it is certainly not possible to ignore medieval Icelandic literature, which has not only played a major role in the history of the nation but is also Iceland's chief contribution to world culture." So begins From Sagas to Novels, an overview of Icelandic literature history written by Dagný Kristjánsdóttir, professor of modern Icelandic literature.

In the column to the right you can find among others information on Icelandic literature history, interviews with authors and podcasts.

For further information on contemporary Icelandic writers, novelists, poets, children's writers and playwrights, go to the Reykjavík City Library's literature website www.literature.is. It is in database form, enabling searches for information on individual authors and their works. The information provided is extensive, including essays by literary scholars about the writers, personal articles written by the authors for the website, biographical information, bibliographies and samples of their writings. The website is in Icelandic and English.