Landnámssaga Íslands reifuð á meinhæðinn hátt

Enska útgáfan af SKE hefur komið út í 25 tölublöðum frá því að fyrsta blaðið kom út síðastliðið sumar. Nýlega rótuðum við í skjalasafn SKE og fundum þar stutta grein um landnám Íslands:

If you are to understand anything about the native Icelander then it is necessary that you grasp his origins. Many words have been expended on the subject but they have fallen short. They have been employed in the interest of literary dehydration, sucking the water from the page and abandoning the reader to a cruel, desiccated state, wherein he chokes on dry historical fact. There exists but a single honest account of the country’s settlement, which puts the entire thing into proper context (appeared on a now defunct blog page):

Iceland was the last European country to be settled – and for good reason. It is a dark, isolated and miserable place with an unreliable climate and few positive qualities to speak of. From the dawn of the human species, 200,000 years ago, it took mankind 199,126 years of continuous and conscientious reproduction to produce a single human being dumb enough to settle there permanently. First were the Gaelic monks – but they do not count; the Gaelic monks were Christian missionaries, and Christian missionaries were, as a rule, promiscuous and undiscriminating in their colonization of foreign land: They remain the settlement whores of human history. Then there was Naddoddr – but he does not count either; Naddoddr, who bestowed the unimaginative title of Snowland upon the country, stayed briefly and left quickly. After Naddoddr there was Garðar Svavarsson – but he, also, does not count; Garðar Svavarsson, upon arriving, did what any man in possession of a functional rational faculty would have done and took a large u-turn around the island and returned to Sweden. Thereafter came Raven Flóki – but he does not count either; Raven Flóki, who conferred the unattractive name of Iceland upon the island, was tricked into a brief and unfortunate settlement by one of his birds: During his first winter in the country all of Flóki’s cattle died, leading him to do the reasonable thing and return back to Norway. All of these men were merely the whispered overtures to a rising crescendo in human pioneering foolishness. The first truly stupid man to depart from his native country with the intent of settling on the island – and then doing so – was Ingólfur Arnarson. Ingólfur, having been exiled from Norway after murdering someone, was determined to colonize the island and communicated this intention to his foster-brother, Hjörleifur. Upon his arrival, Ingólfur observed that he had made a huge mistake, but being allergic to any outward display of doubtfulness – relegated his blunder to some obscure corner of his mind and proceeded to settle. Ingólfur’s stubborn reluctance to admit that he was wrong is a character trait that has since propagated itself through generations and remains peculiar to the nation still to this day. In 1924, the Icelandic people commemorated the character of that intractable fool by erecting a statue of him atop Arnarhóll. Everything about his posture proclaims him a vain and reckless ass – and yet one cannot help but to earnestly salute him in the spirit of dumb nationalism.