About
| Address Change | Contact Us | Where to Buy | Subscriptions
Harbor Light News | Harbor Springs, MI


home : columnists and contributors : columnists and contributors June 25, 2016

5/8/2013 12:02:00 AM
Book Review: The Blue Fox
Bryan Boeckl


The Blue Fox,

by Sjón

Farrar Straus Giroux, $10.00)

While Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson, aka Sjón, is as unfamiliar to the English-speaking world as the pronunciation of his name, he has been an artistic player in the Nordic world since the 1980s. As a poet, novelist and collaborator of Björk, the Icelander has won accolades and awards in his homeland for many years now, and upon opening this new translation of The Blue Fox, it is clear why. Equal parts fable and wayfaring poem, what begins as an artfully crafted yet seemingly innocuous hunting expedition slowly drifts and narrows into something more acute.

It is the winter of 1883, and the place is Iceland. Closing one eye to line up the iron sights of Sjón's pages, as a reader you expect to, naturally, find the blue fox. Instead, a lyrical sojourn is unbridled where the lines between man and beast, supernatural and ordinary are unwound.

The book consists of two narratives: the first being the hunter and his pursuit of the blue fox. The match up between them takes on extraordinary elements, as both are keenly aware of the other, and both utilize the expansive and rugged terrain to their advantage, however long that might last. As the hunt unfurls, the possibility that the hunter and his target become more and more aligned is certainly present, as they both seem to take on certain aspects of the other in an effort to out-maneuver their competitor. The hunt even dovetails into a debate between man and animal on the merit and morality of electricity, with the shared view that electrical light is channelling an aspect of God.

The second plot line is that of a nearby herbalist who has spent many years caring for a mysterious Down Syndrome girl, whose unknown origins and surprising discovery on a wrecked ship add multiple dimensions to the story. Add to this a funeral under false pretenses and the unwavering warmth it conceals and the two narratives converge in unexpected ways, which produce outcomes that no one could have foreseen.

Sjón is the caliber of writer who cannot pass over a circumstance in which, for example, a predator seeks a predator, without fully realizing how many caverns of thought and nature there are to spelunk. And spelunk he does. By drawing the boundaries of contest that go with a hunt, pairing them off with elements of darkness, adding a helping of cunning, and exploring the greater kindnesses of lone individuals, there is nothing else to do but realize that you have been taken into the peculiarities of the human heart.

Sponsored by Between the Covers



Related Links:
• Between the Covers - Your Downtown Bookstore on Facebook


First Community Bank 081415_stroke




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search


Subscription Login
LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




NewsObituariesLife
Copyright 2016 Harbor Light
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved