Saturday, 25 April 2009


With Joseph Brodsky and Jóhann Hjálmarsson in the garden of Jóhann's home in Reykjavík, Iceland, June 1978. I was staying with the novelist Ólafur Gunnarsson and his family at the time, and Joseph also stayed there during his visit. It's a long time ago now, but I still remember it clearly. Joseph played soccer with a group of well-wishers in a field at 2 in the morning - the sun was shining. The photo is from Morgunblaðið, and was sent to me recently by Sjón.


Harry D. Watson said...

Brodsky and Susan Sontag were only two of the luminaries who used to contribute to the late-lamented ARTES (An International Reader of Literature Art and Music). It was the English-language version of an established Swedish journal sponsored by the national Academies of literature (etc.) and was edited in splendid offices at Blasieholmstorg. I was commissioned to translate pieces from the parent journal and was once invited to come and meet the editor, who then took me out to lunch at the nearby National Museum. Happy days.


Eric Dickens said...

Nice that Sjón unearthed a photo like that. It must mean a lot to David. Trust Brodsky to be lighting a fag in the photo. An amusing health contrast to playing football at two in the morning.

I remember "Artes". I may still have a copy or two.

David McDuff said...

The fag-lighting is also, alas, a typical clash with the (deliberate) Södergranian symbolism of the tree in the background, at which I'm staring. :-)

Sjón sent me several other photos from the readings in Iceland that summer of '78, but that's the one I remember. There were also a couple of article/interviews by JH. I used to have the actual clippings themselves, but it was nice to get them in electronic form.

I have a strange set of photos of Joseph Brodsky on Brooklyn Bridge which have never been published.