Review of literary fiction Video

How to squish Sjón’s 528-page “CoDex 1962” into 2.5 minutes

CoDex 1962, by Sjón (translated by from the Icelandic Victoria Cribb; hardcover; publisher: MCD; First American edition September 11, 2018; 528 pages)

It took four posts to finish saying what I wanted to say about CoDex 1962, the strange but marvellous novel by Icelandic author and poet, Sjón, that was published for the first time in English in the US in September 2018. When I wanted to condense all that into a bite-sized video, I realized that it was easy to remember only the plot, and easy to forget or set aside the many, very strange, surreal incidents and characters. But it was hard to define the actual impression of the book that you are left with. I had to take a moment and think – what is it about this novel that makes it special? What I was left with was the overall feeling of having been immersed in someone’s waking dream, of having been in someone else’s head – Sjón’s head – for a long time. So that is the tone that I tried to communicate in the video with the muted, abstract visuals and the dreamy music – squished into 2 minutes and 28 seconds.

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