One thing that Hvalfjörður fjord and the islands of Vestmannaeyjar have in common is that historical world events have occured there and the stories in Vignettes XVI are related to these areas. There are a few stories about unusual events that occur in life, as well as portrait vignettes of some of the more impressive and creative personalities putting their mark on the nation – characters that Ármann Reynisson has encountered on life’s journey. All brought beautifully together with the unique style of the author who is both concise yet poetic, realistic and inspirational. The vignettes are ideal for reading aloud at many an occasion.
The marble clock
At number 228 on the avenue Rue De Rivoli in Paris, there is a stately neoclassical building housing the long-established Hôtel Le Meurice, dating from 1835. Opposite the hotel is Tuileries garden and the Louvre, one of the most magnificent museums in the world. When entering the hotel, the atmosphere makes you feel as if you have wandered into the Rococo period when Versailles was at its very best.
This woman of the world is elegant with a smoothness of movement, striking radiance, a handsome face, brown eyes and thick long hair tastefully well kempt. Bryndís is a clear thinker, sincere and forthright and she has a deep yearning to express herself. She is sensitive to the environment and is a good conversationalist. She speaks beautiful Icelandic, emphasizing her language with the soft tone of her voice and moderate hand gestures. Her style of dress is artistic in keeping with her personality at every opportunity and she bears jewellery well.
Páll the filmmaker
By coincidence, the teacher becomes a tour guide for the German photographer Hermann Schlenker during his travels around the country and he buys the master’s camera from him and therein begins his love of photography. A decade later, Hermann returns to Iceland with his video recorder and the story repeats itself. There is no turning back. Páll kisses his wife and children goodbye and heads to New York University to study filmmaking. Soon after his return, the
volcanic eruptions begin on Heimaey and there are more than enough projects ahead photographing the natural disaster. The result is a documentary entitled Eldeyjan or Days of Destruction, which receives gold at the Film Festival in Atlanta. From there, the award winner catches the bug and he founds the company Kvik and produces documentaries – many of which receive awards and recognition at various film festivals. Indeed, the island boy could not have
received more fulfillment in life.
It is a rare gift to be able to remember the extact details of one’s own birth or recall the first five years of one’s life as if nothing were more normal. But at approximately that age, after the loss of his father, the man loses all memories for an entire decade. Looking up at the stars had a strong influence on him from his very first year on earth and a healthy psychic ability is born, which blossoms after thirty.
A short distance from the main road, a narrow canyon opens up and following the footpath northward leads to a lush green wonderland. It feels like treading on sacred ground. From a moss-covered cliff, two separate silver columns of water tumble down into a pool hollowed out into an arched rock from which they run down into a stony river. Here it is neither the amount of water nor the height of the falls that impress, rather it is the unobtrusive and poetic vision of nature’s creation that charms the roaming traveller. It is a hub of peace and tranquility and
the sounds of nature gushing over the visitor with such force that it is like having opium injected straight into his veins. Its charming quaintness becomes big and majestic and its beauty overwhelms. The traveller leaves Paradise’s waterfall invigorated once more.
The salmon King
Upon their arrival home, their wives ask after the fishing and how many salmon they have for the freezer this time around. The friends boast: “We caught and released.” The wives do not understand this foolishness until many years later when this kind of fishing comes into fashion.
Midsummer festivities on Surtsey
On Surtsey, the young people find an outlet for their emotions and the freedom to go wild. At the rising of the sun, the country’s so-called Viking squad, the police commissioner’s special unit, invades the island and captures the culprits red-handed.