22 July, 2011

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas (1963)

This story of a friendship between two girls on the brink of adolescence – and the subsequent disappearance of one of them - is a Norwegian classic. Maybe it is the translation, but the writing (the dialogue in particular) has a sort of stilted and awkward feel to it. Still, I expect that from most things Scandinavian. Elements of the story are deliberately ambiguous, such as the sapphic air that exists between the two girls, but Vesaas does evoke the ponderous northern winter wonderfully well and his rendering of the ice castle is simply a great piece of writing.

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