According to a2zcamerablog, Iceland is a country located in Europe. Icelandic literature was born in the circle of Norwegians who moved to the island, transplanting the rich Norse heritage of pagan myths and heroic legends. Elaborated in songs and poems, these myths were transmitted orally until around 1150, that is, until the adoption of the Latin alphabet, introduced in Iceland following the process of Christianization. Thus arose the first group of epic-lyric works, some of which have come down to us in the Edda collection, in which the pagan Middle Ages ends in a magical and fantastic way. The second nucleus of ancient Icelandic poetry, contemporary to the formation of the Eddic poems, divided into the mythical, gnomic and heroic genres, is that constituted by the poetry of the skalds, Transmitted orally by court poets (Skald) and partly passed down through the sagas: Egil Skallagrímsson (ca. 910-980) biography of the famous skald Viking, KORMAK Ögmundarson (937-967), Hallfredhr Óttarson (967-1007) are the most famous names among the pagan skalds, Bjarni Kolbeinsson (1188-1222), Sturla Thórdharson (1214-1284) among Christians. But perhaps in the sagas Icelandic literature has reached its highest results (Saga of the people of the valley of the salmon, Saga of Njál, Saga of Erik the Red), opening the way also to historiography which, as a real discipline, arose only after the first contacts with European culture and the introduction of Christianity. In medieval Europe there were actually many types of sagas, but in Iceland the so-called “familiar” ones spread, through which the human, sentimental, heroic and religious facts of the ancients were told, between fantasy and reality. They constitute both one of the most advanced forms of literature of the time and a true medieval literary heritage.
The loss of political independence (late 13th century) was followed by an economic and cultural decline while a new form of epic poetry expressed by the rímur was established and enjoyed for five centuries (1350-1850). (quatrains with alternating rhymes, verse remakes of ancient writings), which formed a link with the great literary past. Few important names: the Catholic bishop Jón Arason (1484-1550), the Protestant Hallgrím Pétursson (1614-1674), authors of religious lyrics, and, in the second half of the eighteenth century, open to the Enlightenment, the naturalist and poet Eggert Olafsson (1726-1768), Jón Thorláksson (1744-1819), translator of A. Pope, J. Milton, FG Klopstock, historian Jón Espolin (1769-1836), lexicographer Sveinbjörn Egilsson (1791-1852). The romance it brought about a recovery of the ancient heritage of the sagas and, in the political field, a stimulus to national independence. He had his most valid interpreters in Jónas Hallgrímsson (1807-1845) and in Jón Thoroddsen (1818-1868), considered the “father of the Icelandic novel”, who in his successful popular-tone novels (Boy and girl, 1850; Man and donna, published only in 1876) reveals the dependence on W. Scott and C. Dickens. After 1880 a realistic current emerged, which included among its ranks Gestur Pálsson (1852-1891), Jónas Jónasson (1856-1918), Einar Kvaran (1859-1938) and a poet like Thorsteinn Erlingsson (1858-1914). Effective but conservative storytellers were the colonist Gudhmundur Fridhjónsson (1869-1944) and the self-taught Jón Trausti (1873-1918), undoubtedly the most interesting personality of the early twentieth century.
Meanwhile, a certain number of writers gave up their mother tongue (Jón Sveinsson – 1857-1944 -, priest of Akureyri wrote many works for children in German, later translated into different languages) and expressed themselves in Danish to obtain wider fame: thus the playwright Jóhann Sigurjónsson (1880-1919) famous for the novel Fjalla-Eyvindur, the neo-romantic poet and storyteller Jónas Gudhlaugsson (1887-1916), the playwright and storyteller Gudhmundur G. Kamban (1888-1945), the novelist Gunnar Gunnarsson (1889-1975), author of novels inspired by his land (The lineage of Borg, 1912-14; The church on the mountain, 1923-28), while Kristmann Gudmundsson (1902-1983) expressed himself in riksmål. After 1920 the storytellers Thórbergur Thórdarson (1889-1974) and Gudhmundur G. Hagalín (1898-1985) established themselves; the poet Hulda (1881-1946), the poets Davíd Stefánsson (1895-1965), Tómas Gudmundsson (1901-1983). But the richest and most convincing figure was that of Halldór Kiljan Laxness (1902-1998), Nobel laureate in 1955. A tormented character, Catholic, then a militant Communist, he was the author of novels (including Independent People, considered one of the literary masterpieces of his century), essays, stories, dramas and verses. Among the operas are still to be remembered: Steinn Steinarr (1908-1958), Hannes Sigfússon (1922-1997), Jón Óskar (1921-1998), Elías Mar (b.1922), who is also a narrator, Hannes Pétursson (b. 1931); among the narrators, Agnar Thórdharson (1917-2006), Thor Vilhjálmsson (b.1925), Thorgeir Thorgeirsson (b.1933). But there are still many authors of modern Icelandic literature, such as the instinctive Guðbergur Bergsson (b. 1932), writer among other things of The Swan, which has as its protagonist a nine-year-old girl led to a remote farm; Olaf Olafsson (b.1962), Icelandic living in New York, who is dear to the theme of the interior life as it emerges in his A walk in the night and The return trip; Hallgrímur Helgason (b. 1959), who in 2001 won the Icelandic literary prize with The Greatest Writer of, a tribute to Halldór Laxness. Instead, they are by Einar Már Guðmundsson (b. 1954) Footprints in the sky, the story of an Icelandic family at the beginning of the century. XX and Angels in the universe, which in 1995 won the prize of the Nordic Council for Literature. And finally two women: Hrafnhildur Hagalín (b.1965), famous for her theatrical texts, among which I am the Master and Dai, Elettra and Svava Jakobsdóttir (1930-2004), author of the collection of short stories Everything in order, merciless photograph of life in Iceland and of the conditioning generated by the harshness of nature.