Abstract and keywords

Ritið 1/12 - 2012

Þröstur Helgason: Vaka and Vaki, resurrection and insurrection – „words of a kind“. Sigurður Nordal and modernism

In 1927 a group of bourgeois intellectuals founded the magazine Vaka, whose objective was to strengthen its readers’ awareness of Iceland’s cause in the struggle for independence. The most prominent figure in the group was Sigurður Nordal, a professor of literature at the University of Iceland who promoted nationalistic views in the magazine. Twenty-five years later the little magazine Vaki was established by four young men in reaction to Nordal’s cultural policy. In this article, the different, and in a sense paradoxical activity of these magazines will be examined, for example in the light of the concepts of “resurrection” and “insurrection” which Nordal correlated so closely. In conclusion, it will be maintained that the nationalistic discourse is the reason why modernism did not take hold in Iceland until after the nation gained independence from Denmark in 1944.

Keywords: magazines, Vaka, Vaki, Sigurður Nordal, modernism

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