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An evocative chronicle of the power of solitude in the natural world

I’m often asked, but have no idea why I chose Iceland, why I first started going, why I still go. In truth I believe Iceland chose me.—from the introduction

Contemporary artist Roni Horn first visited Iceland in 1975 at the age of nineteen, and since then, the island’s treeless expanse has had an enduring hold on Horn’s creative work. Through a series of remarkable and poetic reflections, vignettes, episodes, and illustrated essays, Island Zombie distills the artist’s lifelong experience of Iceland’s natural environment. Together, these pieces offer an unforgettable exploration of the indefinable and inescapable force of remote, elemental places, and provide a sustained look at how an island and its atmosphere can take possession of the innermost self.

Island Zombie is a meditation on being present. It vividly conveys Horn’s experiences, from the deeply profound to the joyful and absurd. Through powerful evocations of the changing weather and other natural phenomena—the violence of the wind, the often aggressive birds, the imposing influence of glaciers, and the ubiquitous presence of water in all its variety—we come to understand the author’s abiding need for Iceland, a place uniquely essential to Horn’s creative and spiritual life. The dramatic surroundings provoke examinations of self-sufficiency and isolation, and these ruminations summon a range of cultural companions, including El Greco, Emily Dickinson, Judy Garland, Wallace Stevens, Edgar Allan Poe, William Morris, and Rachel Carson. While brilliantly portraying nature’s sublime energy, Horn also confronts issues of consumption, destruction, and loss, as the industrial and man-made encroach on Icelandic wilderness.

Filled with musings on a secluded region that perpetually encourages a sense of discovery, Island Zombie illuminates a wild and beautiful Iceland that remains essential and new.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half Title Page, Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-x
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  1. Introduction
  1. Island Zombie
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Pooling Waters
  1. Making Being Here Enough
  2. pp. 9-12
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  1. Sometimes Dead
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. The Cold Blood of Iceland
  2. pp. 15-16
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  1. Bluff and Psycho
  2. pp. 17-18
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  1. How—Is Visible Here
  2. pp. 19-22
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  1. Floating in the Desert
  2. pp. 23-24
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  1. Accidents Are Mundane
  2. pp. 25-26
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  1. Roads Lack Dedication
  2. pp. 27-28
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  1. Little Showers
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. Falling Trees Make Sound
  2. pp. 31-32
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  1. Verne's Journey
  2. pp. 33-34
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  1. The Probability of Round Rocks
  2. pp. 35-36
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  1. Special Effects
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. Lóa and Lóa
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. Weather Is National Sport
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. Anatomy and Geography
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. Indoor Water
  2. pp. 45-46
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  1. Pronouns Detain Me
  2. pp. 47-48
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  1. Bluff Life
  2. pp. 49-52
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  1. A Newark Here
  2. pp. 53-54
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  1. Island and Labyrinth
  2. pp. 55-56
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  1. Where the Earth Is Hot
  2. pp. 57-58
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  1. Youth and Geometry
  2. pp. 59-62
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  1. Sleep: Rotation Method
  2. pp. 63-64
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  1. When Dickinson Shut Her Eyes
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. Pastoral and Cave
  2. pp. 67-68
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  1. The Flats (After William Morris)
  2. pp. 69-70
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  1. Crossing a Field I Remember
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. I Can't See the Arctic Circle from Here
  2. pp. 73-74
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  1. A Franchise of Rainbows
  2. pp. 75-76
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  1. Wallace Stevens's Ice
  2. pp. 77-82
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  1. Collected
  1. Hot Water Sampler
  2. pp. 83-88
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  1. An Adhesive Feeling
  2. pp. 89-90
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  1. A Mink Look
  2. pp. 91-92
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  1. Mirror, Desert and Mirror
  2. pp. 93-96
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  1. Monroe, Iceland
  2. pp. 97-98
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  1. Throwing Itself Together
  2. pp. 99-100
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  1. Something Shimmering
  2. pp. 101-102
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  1. An Evening with Gelatinous and Glutinous
  2. pp. 103-104
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  1. Cloth-Home Culture
  2. pp. 105-106
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  1. The Other Here
  2. pp. 107-108
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  1. Water and Clearing (Excerpt)
  2. pp. 109-110
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  1. Conjecture a Cause: Seljavegur 2, Reykjavík 101, August 22, 2003
  2. pp. 111-114
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  1. Notes on the Obsolescence of Islands
  2. pp. 115-118
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  1. Eruption, Assassination (November 1963)
  2. pp. 119-120
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  1. A White Stone
  2. pp. 121-122
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  1. My Oz
  1. My Oz
  2. pp. 123-132
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  1. Weather Reports You (Excerpt)
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 133-136
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  1. Selection: 21 Reports
  2. pp. 137-178
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  1. Morgunblaðið Newspaper
  1. Note on Texts
  2. pp. 179-180
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  1. The Nothing That Is
  2. pp. 181-186
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  1. Notes on Icelandic Architecture (Excerpt)
  2. pp. 187-188
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  1. One Hundred Waterfalls, Five Hundred Jobs
  2. pp. 189-194
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  1. Iceland's Difference
  2. pp. 195-245
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  1. Colophon
  2. p. 246
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780691208978
Related ISBN
9780691208145
MARC Record
OCLC
1140353522
Pages
256
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-09
Language
English
Open Access
No
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