Halldór Laxness, Gerpla

Ármann Jakobsson (University of Iceland)
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(1952), the ninth novel of Icelandic Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, was published in 1952, three years before he received the Nobel prize, and it played a big part in this honour which belonged partly to the great literary heritage of Iceland. As a critical reworking of the medieval

Fóstbrœðra saga

, it is a highly referential text that also carries a strong message about the trope of heroism, the belief in strong leaders and the glorification of war. While it is open to debate which of Halldór Laxness’s novel is his masterpiece,


has a strong following and has contributed much to his prestige.

Gerpla is also one of the most ambitious and nuanced attempts to rework the Old Norse sagas into a modern novel and in this it reflects Laxness’s long-standing and complicated

839 words

Citation: Jakobsson, Ármann. "Gerpla". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2024 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40780, accessed 12 June 2024.]

40780 Gerpla 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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