Degningsvindar (Windswept Dawn) (1934) is William Heinesen’s first novel. It was republished in substantially reworked form in 1961.
The novel depicts the Faroes in the shift from a traditional to a commercial fisheries based society. It is a time of every imaginable tension and clash between old and new values, reactionaries and progressives, church and new religious movements. Here we meet philosophers, winos, gossips and misers. We are in a world of lust and love. They all carry their own misery but engage also in a common battle, to fight the powers of nature within and around them.
A windy morning sweeps over land and sea, a vehement south-easterly. It carries along Spring’s tumult and fertility—the seaweed shoots up, the hills turn green, fish spawn, and the ewes are with young. And fertile unrest has captured human minds as well, a new era has dawned full of hope and danger, its end hidden from view – times change, upheaval, the old ways crumble before new paths are trod. Progress or Apocalypse? No one knows.