Vignettes VI delves into many aspects of contemporary life, combining observations of city life with deftly drawn portraits of the natural marvels of the Icelandic landscape, interspersed with tales from other lands. Ármann Reynisson takes the reader by surprise once more with a collection of visually evocative vignettes that are well-suited to being read aloud with all sorts of occasions.
The self-important lawyer
On certain occasions, one can see a warrior stride in and out of the court house, wearing a dark unfastened gown with light blue flaps that hang down over its front. The bustling wind blows the cloak to and fro, and when it reaches underneath the garment the back swells out like a sail and the laughing lawyer appears to rise off the ground. This self-important man always has plenty of major cases to attend to and is regarded as one of the most brilliant lawyers in his field. He also has a very high opinion of himself. Many people are good at creating a mountain out of a molehill and legal cases become more complex with each passing year. That is how the courts are nourished.
The cold war raged not only between politicians and powers in the east and west but also between individuals and even between children on a particular remote island in the north. People separated themselves into political parties according to their views and got involved in savage disputes on the issues. Families split and children shouted war cries.
On Advent, one could tell what political views people had by the colour of their Christmas lights hanging on the balconies of their houses.
The great poet
In a two-story ambassadorial home, in a far off land, an impressive spiral staircase dominates the centre of the building and joins the lower floor to the upper. An elevator, situated in the middle of the staircase and encased in glass, is constantly used by the residents.
All sorts of things lead to intimacy and sometimes it is difficult to say exactly what brings people together or joins them. In some cases, this lasts a lifetime; in others, it is bound to a single moment. The variation is endless. The kisses start when the ice is broken and people want to show each other love or affection. Usually, this takes place after a certain time, but sometimes it happens at once. Kisses are as different as people themselves, but even so they may be categorised.
The third heart
At the edge of the peninsula where the surf breaks on the shore, only partially in rhythm with the hearts of those who live there, Grindavík rises out of the flatlands, surrounded by jetties. This harbour is the main artery of the town, overfull with all sizes of craft, emptying out when there is a chance to go out into the rich fishing grounds and bring back a catch. It is quite a sight to see when they return, heavily laden and covered in bird droppings to land the fish on which the nation so depends. A man of fair complexion lives here, one of the few people on earth who have a third heart.