The book is about Hansi, a composer who has composed nothing and lives in a hovel in Reykjavík with his girlfriend. When he receives an unexpected legacy he buys a piano, a hat and an overcoat, and starts looking for better accommodation. The composer fritters away his inheritance, and loses the piano and an unfinished composition to a swindler. By the end Hansi is on the street; his girlfriend is gone, the hovel demolished, and he is playing the cello in alleys. The work focuses on the plight of creative arts in a society dominated by individualism and materialism. And there is some resemblance between Hansi and Steinar himself, in the homeless, rootless drifting described in the book.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Sagenhaftes Island has a profile of Steinar Sigurjónsson (1928-1992), whom I knew and talked with in Copenhagen in 1978. The profile has a description of one of his remarkable novels which brings back memories to me: