Comingling the past and the present (while presaging the future), the sacred and the profane, the concrete and the abstract, Sjón's CoDex 1962 is as ambitious a work as it is an enveloping one. Combining several genres, CoDex 1962 incorporates (as most of Sjón’s fiction seems to do) Icelandic mythology and folklore, creation stories, historical accounts, autobiographical elements, and more. Between Sjón’s rich atmospherics, uncanny ability to lure the reader into his tale, and his melodic, expressive prose, CoDex 1962 further proves his unquestionable standing as a major figure of the international literary scene. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Spanning eras, continents, genres, Codex 1962—twenty years in the making—is Sjón’s epic three-part masterpiece
Over the course of four dazzling novels translated into dozens of languages, Sjón has earned a global reputation as one of the world’s most interesting writers. But what the world has never been able to read is his great trilogy of novels, known collectively as CoDex 1962—now finally complete.
Josef Löwe, the narrator, was born in 1962—the same year, the same moment even, as Sjón. Josef’s story, however, stretches back decades in the form of Leo Löwe—a Jewish fugitive during World War II who has an affair with a maid in a German inn; together, they form a baby from a piece of clay. If the first volume is a love story, the second is a crime story: Löwe arrives in Iceland with the clay-baby inside a hatbox, only to be embroiled in a murder mystery—but by the end of the volume, his clay son has come to life. And in the final volume, set in present-day Reykjavík, Josef’s story becomes science fiction as he crosses paths with the outlandish CEO of a biotech company (based closely on reality) who brings the story of genetics and genesis full circle. But the future, according to Sjón, is not so dark as it seems.
In CoDex 1962, Sjón has woven ancient and modern material and folklore and cosmic myths into a singular masterpiece—encompassing genre fiction, theology, expressionist film, comic strips, fortean studies, genetics, and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling.
“Dazzlingly funny and entertaining . . . Dramatic and tragic, light and serious, woven with the artistry that we recognize in Sjón’s other work.”
Fridrika Benonysdottir, Frettabladid
“A masterpiece, meticulously executed from the first page to the last . . . I challenge any author to top this!” Sigridur Albertsdottir, Vidsja
About the Author
Sjón is the author of The Blue Fox, From the Mouth of the Whale, The Whispering Muse, and Moonstone. Born in Reykjavík in 1962, he is an award-winning novelist, poet, and playwright, and his novels have been translated into thirty-five languages. Alongside his work as a writer, Sjón has taken part in a wide range of art exhibitions and music events. His longtime collaboration with the Icelandic singer Björk led to an Oscar nomination for his lyrics for the Lars von Trier movie Dancer in the Dark. He lives in Reykjavík.
Victoria Cribb has spent the last twenty-five years immersed in Iceland’s language and literature. After reading Old Icelandic at Cambridge, she took an MA in Scandinavian Studies at University College London and a BPhil in Icelandic at the University of Iceland, before working in Iceland for a number of years as a publisher, journalist, and translator. Since 2002 she has lived in London, working as a freelance translator, and currently also teaches Icelandic at University College London and in Cambridge. Her translations include Sjón’s The Blue Fox, From the Mouth of the Whale, The Whispering Muse, and Moonstone, and three novels in collaboration with Olaf Olafsson, as well as countless other works of fiction and nonfiction, published in books, anthologies, and magazines.