Talk:Halldór Laxness

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Gissurarson Biography[edit]

I've removed the following from the article pending verifiability:

...some of them controversial, such as the three volume work by Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson. Laxness’ widow, with public support from many of Iceland's most prominent scholars on literature, sued Gissurarson for plagiarism, accusing him of editing and/or re-prhasing whole passages from her late husband's works and passing them on as his own. Gissurarson, a long-time outspoken conservative, claimed that these allegations were motivated by politics or even personal ill-will. In November 2006, Gissurarson was acquitted on all counts by the Reykjavík District Court.

Can this be properly sourced? Jkelly 02:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Which book won the Nobel?[edit]

Hi; came here looking to see which book it was he was awarded the Nobel Prize for; it doesn't say in the article or listing, at least not by searching the article for "nobel", and it's not on the Nobel Prize page either.Skookum1 21:54, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Is it not the case that the Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded not for a specific book but for a lifetime's achievement? --MV Overchurch 23:23, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it's a lifetime achievement award, in a sense, unlike some of the other more specific prizes. Probably because it's new and "tacked on" to the original concept of the prizes.

Sure, it's a lifetime achievement award. However, often a specific book is singled out as the "magnum opus" of the author, in Laxness' case it was the book Gerpla, which was considered a modern revival of the Icelandic sagas with all the existential irony of the 20th century.

Independent people is probably most Icelander´s favorite. -- (talk) 04:40, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

By the way, I would think this article need some reworking, the scope of the article is narrow and one would be mislead to think that Laxness was predominantly a catholic writer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:53, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Couple of issues:

  • The Prize for Literature is neither "new" nor "tacked-on" - it has been around as long as all of the other prizes (except for Economics) and is one of the oldest literary prizes in the world.
  • The Nobel is a lifetime achievement award. There was no mention in the Nobel citation of any individual work - saying that Gerpla, for example, is his magnum opus, is original research and has no bearing on his being awarded the Prize.
  • Finally, please sign your contributions to the talk pages. Just type four tildes. Irregulargalaxies (talk) 17:40, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


In Icelandic wikipedia,there is a good photo of Laxness which is given by a website for promotion of the writer. What is the appropriate license I should give if I upload it? --ZaDiak (talk) 00:50, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Total overhaul[edit]


This article needs a complete rewriting, which would be obvious to anyone who know Laxness' work and his life. With all due respect to the pioneers of this article, the present article misses crucial points in Laxness' life, is filled with trivia unrelated to Laxness, and does not cover the literary importance of his work, in Europe and America during his lifetime, and still in Icelandic culture. If there are no protests within the next weeks I could volunteer.

Best regards —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:02, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Addendum 2/7/09

I am new to wikipedia and just noticed that the Laxness pages are very anemic.

Recent website on Halldor Laxness now appears to be lost. This is possible in part due to the economic crisis in Iceland.

The website was:

I would think that recovery of this website for buffing up wikipedia page might be helpful —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Dates of publishing It is correctly stated in the article that Laxness died in 1998. It therefore seems a little strange that he is claimed to have published three books posthumously. The fact is that these books are reprints and exerpts from formerly published works and should be clearly marked as such. (talk) 17:03, 13 July 2009 (UTC)Þorvaldur Sigurðsson


Just a query. The strapline states "This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a family name, but this person is properly referred to by the given name Halldór".

So why is he then referred to throughout the article as "Laxness" rather than Halldór? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Saxmund (talkcontribs) 13:34, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it is fine to refer to Halldór by his last name. Actually, it is questionable wheter that quote - "This is an Icelandic name. The last name is a family name, but this person is properly referred to by the given name Halldór" - should be in the article. This quote does base on the statement that Icelanders use an patronymic system when it comes to names. While that is true, there are exceptions, and Laxness is one of those exceptions.--Snaevar (talk) 00:03, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Even when Icelanders have family names, they're still referred to by their first name. Laxness is almost an exception in that he was the only person (to my knowledge) to carry that particular family name, and Halldór is a common name so it's very easy to refer to him as Laxness (although "Kiljan" is just as popular). When he was alive Icelanders wouldn't just call him "Laxness" when addressing him though. They'd call him Halldór or a variation thereof. For that reason alone the name header should be there. I feel this has only been removed because people think it's "complicated", while it should stay for the simple reason that it's correct. finval (talk) 17:43, 30 August 2013 (UTC)
Marginally on topic: Sorry for confusing anybody. The Icelandic system isn't just about the ending of last names -son or -dóttir. Strictly yes, only those are patronymic. What I'm getting at is that Halldór is still preferred by all Icelanders - including Halldór himself - whatever the last name. I'm in no way doubting that Halldór took the last name Laxness (and the name Kiljan). I'm not old or wise enough to know if that was illegal at the time however. I think it was and would be now under current Icelandic naming law (I'm pretty sure there the one from 1996 is not the first one[1]). You can (now) change your name (once) but can't change to whatever first name or the last name at all (in the way he did). I'm sure Halldór Guðjónsson was still legally correct at the time (and may have been in the census). Anyway, he had published under that name and that name is also appropriately in the lead. Nothing is "false" then about the hatnote. I had put Laxness in the hatnote previously and am ok with also including that. Someone put "clarify" after it and I thought maybe just dropping Laxness from there might be less confusing as not really necessary there. See also my additions at the same time to the main text.
About hatnotes-templates (not my invention: Template:Icelandic name) for Icelandic names (not just patronymic ones, that is not the main issue of the hatnote in Laxness' article), see a former Prime Minister of Iceland Geir Haarde hatnote [2] and writer/poet Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, his hatnote I actually added.
It seems to me the article is in excellent shape (including info on name). Thanks! I simplified, deleted some of my edits here. comp.arch (talk) 09:10, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Further reading[edit]

Removed "further reading" section, most were in Icelandic and not available for English readers, and put the rest in the reference section.Dktrfz (talk) 22:15, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Early years[edit]

18:48, 1 March 2014‎ Comp.arch (talk | contribs)‎ . . (18,657 bytes) (+143)‎ . . (Both are "right", main town is postal code 270, rural part is 271 still Mosfellsbær.
Icelandic version says Mosfellsbær. See "phone book" and (undo | thank)

I see your point. Icelandic version (at gljú, meant for travellers. Icelandic wikipedia article is ok) is wrong also, no telephone, no Mosfellsbær either. That is what caught my eye. Really what I (first) wanted to fix was that he moved to Mosfellsveit (-sveit means "rural"). Hope the language is clear and correct now. comp.arch (talk) 09:44, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

Added diacritic with-in quotes[edit]

I changed:

"The demoralization of the occupation period is described... nowhere as dramatically as in Halldor Kiljan Laxness' Atómstöðin


"The demoralization of the occupation period is described... nowhere as dramatically as in Halldor Kiljan Laxness' Atómstöðin

Maybe somone had already changed to "Atómstöðin", I don't know, if not it seems strange that the quote used "ð" and "ö" there and not "ó" in Halldór. Maybe it didn't as the quote is in English, but the writer Einarsson may have been Icelandic and I don't have the actual source for the quote. Even if diatrics weren't there can they be added as it is a "typo" (without sic)? comp.arch (talk) 09:38, 17 March 2014 (UTC)

I only saw this now on the talk page. I made the edits to the quotes[3]. I didn't have access to the books and thought someone didn't know how to type them in (it seemed an Icelander wrote at least one of the books). I couldn't revert my own change and not sure all quotes need reverting as not all the quotes are from the same book. They might all need reverting at least those you know to be incorrect. Maybe quotes need not be exact in this regard but I want to err on the side that is known. In all non-quotes however please keep as is. comp.arch (talk) 18:00, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Curvy quotes are evidently not allowed in Wikipedia, my revert was reverted by Walter Görlitz. Too bad the typography has to be “dumbed down” but I suppose the law of least common denominator applies to Wikipedia as it does in most things.Dktrfz (talk) 16:15, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Halldór[edit]

Reverted edit of 17 September 2015‎ by Numerous sources give the double ll pronunciation of Halldór as 'tl':

The audio file also gives a 'tl' sound.

If you have some compelling evidence to the contrary, please point it out and reference it.Dktrfz (talk) 14:53, 17 September 2015 (UTC)

Hatnote for Halldór Laxness (album)[edit]

Is this really necessary? Is an album by an unknown band likely to cause confusion with a Nobel Laureate, or is it merely self-serving?Dktrfz (talk) 00:16, 3 June 2017 (UTC)