A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World
A Place Apart offers a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kirsten Hastrup draws upon extensive first-hand research, but also upon her original theory of what anthropology is and should be, which this book exemplifies. In two previous books she studied the processes and patterns which shaped Icelandic society from medieval times to the nineteenth century; now she brings this historical study up to date by drawing out the dominant themes in present-day Icelandic self-understanding. In many ways Icelanders' sustained image of themselves as a singular people in the world refracts the actual social reality. The image tends to favour particular interpretations of history as well as particular social groups, as Hastrup shows through analyses of tradition and ideology, landscape and memory, community and honour. She investigates the ways in which everyday life is informed by a living tradition and a stress on the historical depth and cultural uniqueness of this place apart. The result is a renewed sense of the texture of the Icelandic world, seen not as a static and prescriptive culture, but rather as a space within which Icelanders are suspended between modernity and consciousness of the antiquity of Icelandic values, between presentness and pastness.
What people are saying - Write a review
Times Past and Present
The Contact Zone
8 other sections not shown
action actual Althing anthropology Auden become centre claim collective conceptual contact zone context contexture cows Danish defined discourse distinction economy Einarsson ethnographic experience fact farm farmers farmstead feast feature field fieldwork fishermen fishing villages Geertz gender glacier Grettir Grettis saga Hastrup honour household human I>6rbergur I>6rdarson Icelandic economy Icelandic history Icelandic landscape Icelandic language Icelandic sagas Icelandic society Icelandic world implicit implies individual inherent island Jon Sigurdsson knowledge land language less liminal linguistic literary literature living Louis MacNeice marginal matter meal meaning memory modern mountains myth narrative nature Nordic Nordic countries Norse Norsemen notion particular past porrablot practice present reality reason reference Reykjavik ritual saeters sagas seems seen sense settlements shared sheep silence social space speak story structure Sudursveit sveit told tradition twilight opera Uchronia understanding verbud W. H. Auden woman women words writing