Thursday, 7 June 2007

The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas

The Dovegreyreader has also discovered The Ice Palace and her reaction has been the same as everyone into whose hot little hands this superlative novel has been placed. At Shakespeare and Company there's been a guy who for the last couple of years has apparently made it his personal mission to get this book on every shelf in the known world. And good luck to him. We are absolutely certain that if only we could get it onto enough shopfloors in the UK then Tarjei Vesaas would finally get the posthumous renown that he so richly deserves.


Paul said...

'The Ice Palace' is such a great novel, and, as you say, Tarjei Vesaas really does deserve wider appreciation. I would also add that 'The Birds' should be placed alongside it on all those shelves.

I have recently finished hunting down all of Tarjei Vesaas' novels that have been translated into English, and was wondering whether Peter Owen has any plans to re-issue any of out-of-print titles? (At least I assume they are out of print.) I'm not completely sure whether you hold the UK rights to all of his novels, but it would be great to see them in bookshops.

PeterOwenPublishers said...

Dear Paul,
Thank you for your comment, you're actually the second person we've heard from today who's raved about the The Ice Palace.

To answer your question: I think that I'm right in saying that we own the rights to all of Vesaas' novels in English and we currently have The Ice Palace, The Birds, Spring Night and The Boat in the Evening in print. We are always looking at bringing others into our Modern Classics series, which of the out of print ones is your favourite?

Paul said...

Thanks for replying.

I particularly enjoyed 'The Great Cycle'. This is a fairly early one (mid-1930s, I think), and he hadn't developed his style fully, but you can see stirrings of that ability he had to communicate emotion so simply and accurately. A lot of the themes he focuses on in his later books appear in this novel, too.

'The Bridges', is also excellent This was written much later. It is similar in some ways to 'The Ice Palace', with its strong images and distressing central event. I think this one would probably fit in more with the other titles you have in print currently.

To be honest, though, I really liked them all!

PeterOwenPublishers said...

Hmm, I'm not sure that we did The Great Cycle. Is it an English edition that you read Paul? The Bridges is a definitely possibility for the future, we'll let you know if it goes into preparation.

Paul said...

Actually it was an American publisher - the University of Wisconsin Press, I think, from the 1960s. Typical I should choose that one.

But, I would definitely be interested to hear if any of the other novels are to be reprinted.