Jón Kalman Stefánsson
Music Enriches Literature
“I was born with music in my blood and listening to music is incredibly important to me, it has had an effect on my life and all my thoughts.”
In this video, Iceland’s great novelist Jon Kálman Stefánsson reflects on the role music plays in his writing and in his life. Read more …
There is a lot of music in Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s family on his mother’s side, but he has no talent as a musician, Kalman Stefánsson says. Music informs his writing: “While writing, I feel that language is also music. I am writing words as well as music with language.” When John Lennon died, Kalman Stefánsson bought a guitar “so I could replace him if The Beatles reunited,” he says. Even though the writer is not good at playing a musical instrument, “listening to music is incredibly important to me. I see my life and music. They are intertwined”, he says.
Jón Kalman Stefánsson was born 1963 in Reykjavik, Iceland. His novels have been nominated three times for the Nordic Council Prize for Literature, and his novel ‘Summer Light and then Comes the Night’ received the Icelandic Prize for Literature in 2005. In 2011 he was awarded the prestigious P. O. Enquist Award. His books include ‘Heaven and Hell; The Sorrow of Angels,’ longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize; ‘The Heart of Man,’ winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize; and ‘Fish Have No Feet’, which was longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. He lives in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Kim Skotte interviewed Jón Kalman Stefánsson in connection with the Louisiana Literature festival in August 2022 at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Camera: Simon Wehye
Edit: Signe Boe Pedersen
Produced by Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2023
Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet, C.L. Davids Fond og Samling and Fritz Hansen.
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