Margins: Independent People (chapter 24)

At the moment I’m reading an epic novel about Icelandic shepherds: Independent People by Halldor Laxness, written in the early 1930s. There are many moments of transcendent beauty amongst the brutal social realism of rural life, and lots of Hardyesque humour too. To celebrate the joy of the coming Spring, and the perennial joy of a good cup of coffee, here’s this:

Presently the smell of coffee began to fill the room. This was morning’s hallowed moment. In such a fragrance the perversity of the world is forgotten, and the soul is inspired with faith in the future; when all was said and done it was probably true that there really were far-off places, even foreign countries. Some day, incredible though it might seem, spring would come with its birds, its buttercups in the home-field.


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