Vinjettur VIVignettes IV

Vignettes IV is as varied in range as Ármann Reynisson´s first three books, drawing the reader into the world of love, illusion, the beauties of the writer‚s native Icelandic landscape and the world at large. Reynisson opens our eyes to new vistas of life where good and evil are constantly in conflict, delving into basic questions about the origins and future of mankind. Impassioned and grounded at the same time, these new vignettes provide food for thought while always remaining pleasing to the ear when read aloud.

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Title: Vinjettur IV - Vignettes IV
Author: Armann Reynisson
English traslation: Martin Regal
Cover art work: Sigurbjörn Jónsson
Design: Gudmundur Oddur Magnusson
Artwork photography: Kristján Maack
Layout: Pjaxi
Proof-sheet: Sigrún Árnadóttir

ISBN: 9979–9595–1–7

The midnight sun

The sun gets higher in the sky, to reach its zenith at midsummer. Gradually the days become longer and light temporarily overcomes the darkness. The midsummer sun delicately plays in the firmament and smiles on you as its red glow illuminates the land and people. It calls out to be noticed and gladdens our eyes, skipping before our sight along the horizon as we wake and watch it or walk about. Time becomes relative when the night is bright and young. Children and adults romp and play in the fields. We forget time and place, wishing to stay awake as long as the sun keeps shining. Then, growing tired, we stretch out to sleep, but the play continues into our dream world and its visions of nature. Then the sun begins to get lower in the sky and autumn replaces summer and night resumes its dominion at midwinter. That is how the companions, light and darkness, change places, each to its own task and the season’s needs.

Mobile phone mania

At this pace, it will not be long before children are given mobiles when they are born so that they can avail themselves of the earliest possible opportunity to keep up with their parents. It has been rumoured that one can even get in touch with the dead, wherever they happen to be, as long they remembered to take their mobiles with them across the great divide. To perfect the service, the phone companies are working flat out to set up St.<br>
Peter with a mobile at the Gates of Heaven. Then clients will eventually be able to contact the keeper himself to organise their stay in heaven and reserve hotel rooms in whatever class each individual&rsquo;s pension scheme permits.

The multicultural society

At the beginning of this new century, Iceland has become a colourful multicultural society, a blend of people from some of the most unlikely places in the world. They bring their own customs and spice up daily life at the same time and open up the doors to a more varied cultural existence. The small nation acts like a large one. It has an international feel to it and an international diet to go with it. Its entrepreneurs have raided international stock markets and more and more domestic businesses are making a mark for themselves in foreign business and trade. The people and the country are launched full sail into internationalism.

The shop window

This incident ends up with the man having to be in hospital for a while and his ship leaves town. An elegant woman, the owner of the shop, blames herself for the accident and begins to visit the young man in hospital.<br>
Within a short time, they fall in love and marry soon after he recovers and is back on his feet. Instead of returning to sea, he throws himself in social activities, then founds a new political party and eventually becomes a popular leader of the nation.

Love and plumbing

The girl has a difficult time since she is the only female among a group of strong and hefty men. The men tease her, physically harass her and constantly try to get her into bed. She toughens up, pushes the male plumbers away one after another, and eventually loses all interest in the opposite sex. She absorbs herself in her work totally, showing real dexterity in her handling of metals and tools, whether held in her arms or between her legs. The pipes are swung this way and that or sawn through and bent into shape depending on the job in hand. The masculinity of the metal becomes a woman&rsquo;s joy and she plays with it and controls it according to her needs at any given time. The soft gains total domination over the hard.

Love and paint

When the job is finished the two men look colourful, with splashes of paint on their hands and faces, and the colour of their hair has changed markedly.<br>
They feel they need to celebrate the result by sharing a romantic night in the house and thereby better understand the effects of the colour scheme on sex and enjoy the sensation to the full. That is how they christen each and every house for their clients, who then move back in, satisfied that they will share a blissful future.

Beer culture

One particular bar takes part in the beer festival where large screens show pop and rock videos on the walls and music drowns almost every other sound.<br>
The young people are happy and drink like Vikings as they watch the screens or dance in the middle of the floor, glass in hand. Everyone is in a party mood, there is plenty of beer and a pressing need to do everything at the same time. One of the group is bored and amuses himself by throwing his empty mugs on to the dance floor as soon as he has downed their contents. In the end, when most people have left the place, there are shards of broken glass spread all over the floor. The landlord catches the culprit and asks him the reason for his philistine behaviour. The man answers without<br>
hesitation: &ldquo;I just love the sound of glass shattering&rdquo;.

The bowtie man

One particular bar takes part in the beer festival where large screens show pop and rock videos on the walls and music drowns almost every other sound.
The young people are happy and drink like Vikings as they watch the screens or dance in the middle of the floor, glass in hand. Everyone is in a party mood, there is plenty of beer and a pressing need to do everything at the same time. One of the group is bored and amuses himself by throwing his empty mugs on to the dance floor as soon as he has downed their contents. In the end, when most people have left the place, there are shards of broken glass spread all over the floor. The landlord catches the culprit and asks him the reason for his philistine behaviour. The man answers without
hesitation: “I just love the sound of glass shattering”.

The bowtie man

The most prestigious menswear shops in town competed to engage the bowtie man, advertising special times when he was available, since there was a considerable waiting list for his services. It also transpired that wherever the bowtie man was business soared and sales doubled. He therefore decided to hold courses in his own home for those who wanted to learn the art. So great was the demand that there wasn’t room for them all. Those who did not quite get the hang of tying knots found it easier to call the ancient one to their homes in an emergency, as they would call on any other tradesman. It was not long, therefore, before the bowtie man became one of the wealthiest men in the city and was much sought after by the jet-set. Some people even believe that he has invested part of his profits in the underground economic system.

The landmine

A great many people are employed in and profit by the productions of weapons for defence or attack against individuals and nations. Scientists are busy developing the toys of death using the latest available technology in order to perfect them to the highest degree. Competitive arms salesmen do not appear to take into account the physical or suffering or mental scars that all those innocent people undergo for the rest of their lives as a result of their killing machines or show the least concern at the thousands of deaths they will cause.

 
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© 2001 Ármann Reynisson