Read The Great Weaver from Kashmir by Halldór Laxness Philip Roughton Online


"[The protagonist's] grand, egotistical journey begins with art and ends with God, taking a path marked out by tormented disquisitions on all manner of existential questions."—New York Times Book Review“Laxness brought the Icelandic novel out from the saga’s shadow. . . . To read Laxness is also to understand why he haunts Iceland—he writes the unearthly prose of a poet ca"[The protagonist's] grand, egotistical journey begins with art and ends with God, taking a path marked out by tormented disquisitions on all manner of existential questions."—New York Times Book Review“Laxness brought the Icelandic novel out from the saga’s shadow. . . . To read Laxness is also to understand why he haunts Iceland—he writes the unearthly prose of a poet cased in the perfection of a shell of plot, wit, and clarity.”—Guardian“Laxness is a poet who writes at the edge of the pages, a visionary who allows us a plot: He takes a Tolstoyan overview, he weaves in a Waugh-like humor: it is not possible to be unimpressed.”—Daily Telegraph“Laxness is a beacon in twentieth-century literature, a writer of splendid originality, wit, and feeling.”—Alice MunroHalldór Laxness’ first major novel propels Iceland into the modern world. A young poet leaves the physical and cultural confines of Iceland’s shores for the jumbled world of post-WWI Europe. His journey leads the reader through a huge range of moral, philosophical, religious, political, and social realms, exploring, as Laxness expressed it, the “far-ranging variety in the life of a soul, with the swings of a pendulum oscillating between angel and devil.” Published when Laxness was twenty-five years old, The Great Weaver from Kashmir’s radical experimentation caused a stir in Iceland.Halldór Laxness is the master of modern Icelandic fiction. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955 for his “vivid epic power which has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.”Philip Roughton’s translations include Laxness’ Iceland’s Bell, for which he won the American-Scandinavian Foundation Translation Prize in 2001....

Title : The Great Weaver from Kashmir
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780979333088
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 450 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Great Weaver from Kashmir Reviews

  • Victoria
    2019-03-21 11:31

    I thought I'm on an Iceland binge.... why not continue. Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind, there was little of Iceland in it and mostly unpleasant characters. Not the book for me.

  • William
    2019-03-18 09:27

    Read because I'm going to Iceland in the summer. I might try another of Laxness's books, but mainly because I wasn't the craziest over this one, and I am going to Iceland, after all. This was like a Hardy novel cut in half, only add 200 pages of the protagonist's philosophical and spiritual ramblings. There are some real ferocious parts to the book, but they are much fewer than the philosophical and spiritual nonsense that we use to look into the protagonist. I would recommend this to no one, but I can't say I didn't enjoy reading it for much of the time.

  • Susan Skelly
    2019-03-14 06:31

    An amazing journey through the many souls of man. Only Laxness can throw everything, including the kitchen sink, in and have it work.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-24 10:33

    Because I want to go to Iceland.And he understands how an utter ass can be the center of young girl's obsession.

  • Lindu Pindu
    2019-03-04 08:43

    This is not a bad book. Trust me; I've been spoonfed Absolutes and the glorious decay of those who chase after it, as it were some inarguable national trait for Romanians blossoming on the pages of our national literature. After being steeped in that bullshit rhetoric, it is easy for me to see-- this book is quite the opposite.This is an epic of an Icelandic family, taking place mainly on the continent, and making heavy use of the epistolary form (not as boring as it sounds). About the style: it's filled with poetic moments ("a jubilant monk of the world"), and unexpected use of language ("she felt as if her hands were filthy, as if a raw egg had been cracked open over them.") Not least in number are the youthful angst-type comical utterings ("I suffer in the company of men who do not suffer"). That last quote is sheer comedy to me, and as such I often found myself laughing out loud.We should not look at the main character or narrator and the author as interchangeable (see Umberto Eco, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods; otherwise yes, The Great Weaver of Kashmir is about a little boy who never matures, a pedantic prick that at times I found curiously endearing - perhaps because he is so prone to erring, and because he made me laugh. For every outpouring of dialectics that Steinn, the main character, makes up out of thin air, the author counterpoints with some small, ironic remark. By letting Steinn whirl his words around everything from marriage to religion, Laxness precisely debunks everything his character proclaims as ultimate truth. It's the opposite of a Bildungsroman, but still a wonderful occasion for reflection.It's a classic book, with wonderfully weird characters. Although I felt like skipping fifty pages or so of religious rambling, I feel nonetheless like I will want to revisit this book, as it's the type of read that changes with the reader. I am left with the firm conviction that I have to get my hands on more Laxness.

  • metaphor
    2019-03-02 11:39

    I pondered whether I in fact could find refuge anywhere on all of God’s green Earth, and whether there was in fact anyone whom I could now allow to look me in the face. And not a single living soul came to mind, not one single creature. [...] There come those times when a man actually has no friend at all! This anguish can cut one so quickly to the heart that no comfort can assuage it, no friendly handshake can shake it off, no smile can soothe it, no mother’s tears can wipe it clean, no lover’s heart can conquer it with forgiveness and affection.*[...] so little can be put in words. Words can never reveal the heart. Words are wise, precise, and strict like teachers, and I’m afraid of them, but the heart is none of these things. I usually stayed quiet when you were around because I felt that words couldn’t say what was in my heart. I want to speak a completely different language than the one contained in words. As if I could put into plain words how I felt in my heart that day in the summer when you left!*And I listened to the rain fall, and memories rained down in my mind. I recalled your words and everything that had happened. Your words are beautiful and terrible. I tremble when you start to speak. Everything that you say and do is beautiful and terrible.*I thank you, my love, for how you have allowed me to torment you. Lovers torment; and are tormented. [...] I’ll torment you, torment you, torment you. I left Iceland last time with the intention of tormenting you; and when I leave again I leave in order to torment you. Because you are all that I love. The love between a man and a woman is the only truth in life. Everything in my life is a lie, Diljá: God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell, everything a lie but you.*And the life of man is an attempt to arm oneself for war against the eternal horror that laughs behind the day.

  • Kris
    2019-03-23 10:27

    'The Great Weaver from Kashmir' by Halldór Laxness was okay. The book is a translation so some of the poetry I was expecting in the writing may have been missed. At times I found the book slow and could have cheerfully skipped over several pages, especially during the beginning. Ultimately, the book is about a young man, Steinn who leaves Iceland for the continent in order to find himself and experience a better life away from Iceland and the demands of his family. Steinn never manages to grow up and his views on women would have been better suited for the dark ages. Laxness seems to use 'The Great Weaver from Kashmir' as a platform to explore several theological issues, including many aspects of Catholicism. These theological debates are sometimes interesting, but at times feel a bit excessive when combined with Steinn's boorish behaviour. That said, there are moments of poetry within the book where Laxness has created wonderful similes and comparisons.

  • Kat
    2019-03-04 12:19

    I wrote a long review with quotes that got deleted. Incredibly bizzare book about sums it up. But I cannot resist giving this one quote after all. "It is horrendous to be betrothed to a woman: one can't go for a refreshing walk in the cool of the evening, like the Lord, without having a whole side of female meat hanging on to one. And what's more, a man has to endure this infectious carcass in his bed at night, lying over him, smacking her lips and groaning in her sleep, puffing and snuffling." (p.37) This is said entirely in earnest by the main protagonist. Hard to see why this person got a Nobel prize in literature.... He wrote 60 books and this is one he wrote at 23, but publishing it (for the first time in English!) did him a huge disservice. I am not about to read anything else by him.

  • Gemma Alexander
    2019-03-19 08:33

    Well. What an introduction to the author. I may have been as frustrated by some medieval Catholic saint-philosophers back in college as I was by The Great Weaver, but I doubt it. Those authors were easy to write off entirely as tedious, dogmatic, and ignorant. They were simply wrong. But Laxness was so obviously, undeniably brilliant. His words were stark and modern as Hemingway but with an elegance that would make your heart ache. As much as you might want to scream in frustration and throw the book down, you also wanted to turn the page to find the next poetic jewel of philosophic wisdom or penetrating observation.

  • Susan
    2019-03-10 08:18

    What an amazing book. This is not only a stunning literary work in and of itself, but it is also a great representation of all Icelandic literature has to offer. This groundbreaking author deserves two thumbs up for introducing the world to the Icelandic culture's precise detail and perfectly in-tune voice in modern world literature.I am very much enjoying this introduction to a culture's contribution to world lit that I have not previously experienced.

  • Richard
    2019-03-18 12:19

    Laxness is one of my favorite authors. This was his first novel, and it reads like it was a first effort. At times it is boring...more a theological debate than a novel. And it is somewhat misogynistic which I don't recall in his later work. Perhaps I missed something. I appreciated his use of humor & irony which would become better developed later on. Definitely an important book for anyone interested in Laxness.

  • Rebecca
    2019-02-25 06:30

    ** I obtained this title due to Goodread's First Reads*** I enjoy a challenge of conquering a book that is considered a hard read. This book and I have been involved in a battle for quite some time, and well the book won. This book has some beautifully written passages and others that cause to me change topic and focus. I feel that I need to do more research and reading of Luxness before I try this title again.

  • Aharon
    2019-02-22 08:25

    Brilliantly telling line...15 pages of meandering on the soul's torments. Hilarious aside...12 pages on the failings of modern philosophy. Clever description...9 pages on Icelandic weather. And so forth.

  • Timothy Frasca
    2019-03-17 07:34

    Recognizably Laxness though spotty with some overlong digressions, but even in this first work the magic is there throughout.

  • Aimee
    2019-03-22 10:22

    Remembering how to see the light behind the visage of other words, some people don't seek beauty because they bring it.

  • Larissa
    2019-03-04 14:14

    Review here:

  • Benedikt Skúlason
    2019-03-18 11:30

    ástin, trúin og sannleikurinn.

  • Eric Hinkle
    2019-03-09 13:39

    4 1/2

  • aya
    2019-03-16 11:22

    This book can be beautiful when it is not busy philsophising or moaning. disappointing as my first introduction to halldor laxness, though.

  • Marian
    2019-02-24 10:39

    I tried, I really did, but I found the earnest search for Absolutes and the national and emotional stereotypes too tiresome.

  • Heather
    2019-03-12 11:28

    Overall I was not impressed with this book. I will admit that I was looking forward to this book. The description I had read led me to believe it was of a different nature.

  • Peter Struthers
    2019-03-13 07:21

    Nothing like Independent People, don't buy it if that's what you are after. Well written but not enjoyable.