is the protagonist in a
narrative from Ólavur Trygvason’s Saga as recorded in Flatoyarbók. He is an old
vagrant who helps the king’s men pass time by telling them stories. He tells
them how, as he lay newborn in his cradle, the three völvas predicted a bright
and splendid future for him. However, one of them added that his life would be
snuffed out, when the candle lit by his cradle had burned down. Therefore, the
candle was snuffed before it could burn down. And from then on Nornagestur
carried the candle with him wherever he went.
remained in the court of King Ólavur and was baptized. When full of days he lit
the candle, it burnt for a day; and as the flame went out, he died 300 years of
was first published in 1919 and is the third volume in the magisterial work by
Johannes V. Jensen, Ferðin langa (The Long Journey), for which he received
the Nobel Prize for literature in 1944.
Ferðin langa is an ambitious literary project,
charting nothing less than humanity’s progress from primordial times through
ancient times, the Viking Age, the Middle Age and up to they days of Columbus