Ljómur guddómsins (The Revelation of the Deity) was written and published in the 1930s; a pioneering literary work by Icelandic author, Halldór Laxness, who, at the time, was a young, inquisitive man in his mid-thirties.
Ljómur guddómsins is the first volume in the four-part novel, which constitutes the major literary work Ljós heimsins (World light). It is the story of Ólavur Kárason, an unloved, poor boy, who grows up in foster care on a remote farm, far away from other people. A lonely, fragile, and sensitive soul, who dreams of glory, nature, and poetry, but who almost always ends up drawing the short straw.
Ljós heimsins is inspired by the diaries of an actual person, Magnús Hj. Magnússon. They are available at the National Library of Icelandic and portray the difficult life of a person in search of meaning.
Though many years have passed, since Ljós heimsins was originally written, and the world has been stretched as well as it has shrunk in its own contradictory way, the contemporary person still recognises himself in this sensitive boy, who slowly, book by book, becomes a man.
The books about Ólavur Kárason have been translated into many languages, and, perhaps most notably, they landed Laxness the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955, placing him among the world’s most renowned and pioneering writers.
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