By Birna Bjarnadóttir
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Birna Bjarnadóttir constructs a deep and complete argument for Bergsson's value as a grasp of narrative. Crossing centuries, oceans, and continents, her contextualization of Bergsson's aesthetics stretches from his local land's literary culture to the cultural domain names of Europe and North and South the US.
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Additional resources for Recesses of the Mind: Aesthetics in the Work of Guðbergur Bergsson
This simple healthy man I have inherited is therefore not only a physical need for me, and compensation for my waning strength, but he also becomes more and more the focus of my thinking and a riddle for me as time goes on. My spiritual pleasure and astonishment over his appearance and behaviour have outgrown the physical. (188) Who is this man in a basement in modern Reykjavík who is playing with his prey at will? This man who finds his spiritual enjoyment deepen and his wonder grow on account of his friend’s behaviour?
His knowledge of modernism was essential to my study. The supervision of Vilhjálmur Árnason, a professor of philosophy, was no less crucial with regard to the writings of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. This book was originally written as a doctoral dissertation on the aesthetics in Guðbergur Bergsson’s work and was published by the University of Iceland Press in 2003. What I could not have foreseen at Warwick was that the writing of this book would take seven years. As if on the path of Teresa’s Interior Castle twice over, I had no idea that it would take another seven years to ferry this book into the English-speaking world.
In this spirit, Constantin advises the young man to engage with repetition in life instead of being the prey of memory; to say yes to the everyday activities of the passing moment instead of seeking poetic shelter in a by-passed happiness; to give himself “time to live” and not be tempted to “find an excuse to sneak out of life again” (131). If repetition is truly possible, it will make the man happy, unlike memory, which awakens unhappiness, Constantin asserts. What is remembered is passed and is repeated in a bygone time; but what is repeated is a memory of a time that is yet to come.