The Ice Palace, Tarjei Vesaas

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Δύο πολύ διαφορετικά νεαρά κορίτσια, η Siss, μοναχική και εσωστρεφής, και η Unn, αισιόδοξη και δημοφιλής, αναπτύσσουν μια έντονη, δυνατή, σύντομη φιλία. Πολύ σύντομη, καθώς το άλλο πρωί η Unn εξαφανίζεται ανεξήγητα… Η Siss, παρά τις πιέσεις απο τον περίγυρο, μένει μόνη να αγωνιά να τιμήσει τη μνήμη της φίλης της, έναν όρκο, ένα ανείπωτο μυστικό… Και όλα αυτά εκτυλίσσονται στη Νορβηγική ύπαιθρο, κατά τη διάρκεια του νορβηγικού χειμώνα, σε ένα σκοτεινό σκηνικό πάγου,  χιονιού και σιωπής…

Commonly seen as the legendary Norwegian writer’s masterpiece, this story tells the tale of Siss and Unn, two friends who have only spent one evening in each other’s company. But so profound is this evening between them that when Unn inexplicably disappears, Siss’s world is shattered. The Ice Palace is written in prose of a lyrical economy that ranks among the most memorable achievements of modern literature.

«The Nordic Council Literature Prize 1964 is awarded to Tarjei Vesaas for his novel The Ice Palace, rooted in the Nordic winter nature, which in a sensitive style, forms spiritual realities into a compelling vision of human loneliness and search for community.»

«This tale is like a legend. Easy to hear, as you read voices singing the lines of the ballad it could so easily be…How simple this novel is. How subtle. How strong. How unlike any other. It is unique. It is unforgettable. It is extraordinary.» – The Independent

«The tale of Siss and Unn, two eleven-year-old girls living in the hinterlands of Norway, is not merely a tale of childhood friendship, but is also a subtle and palpable excursion into the innocent recesses of sexual exploration.» – Review of Contemporary Fiction

The Ice Palace is an elegant poetic fable that expresses through its unique language an instinctive, rather than an intellectual, human connection with questions of isolation and schism… Our isolation is what we have in common, and the existential questions posed by Vesaas are, by definition, the province of everyone; this is a triumphant study in the reality of human anguish.» – Times Literary Supplement

«This is a book that celebrates the inexplicable and the incomplete. Reading it did not make reality less fragmented and random, but it made it seem worthy, inexplicable as it may be.»- npr.org

«It is hard to do justice to The Ice Palace . . . The narrative is urgent, the descriptions relentlessly beautiful, the meaning as powerful as the ice piling up on the lake.’ – The Times

«Vesaas’s laconic sentences are as cold and simple as ice — and as fantastic.» – Daily Telegraph

«Believable and haunting . . . this beautiful and neo-prose poem is as sombre and Scandinavian as a Bergman film . . . the evocation of rime, frost and cracking ice have so eternal a quality that the mention of a passing car comes almost as a shock.» – Nova

«Αν οι Έλληνες λογοτέχνες έχουν αμέτρητους τρόπους για να περιγράψουν τον ουρανό, τον ήλιο και τη θάλασσα, ο Νορβηγός Vesaas γράφει για το χιόνι, τον πάγο και την παγωνιά με λέξεις βαθιά ποιητικές, με τρόπους που μόνο ένας Σκανδιναβός θα φανταζόταν.» – Don’t Ever Read Me

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