Sjon: The Whispering Muse

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The Icelandic author Sjón started out a Dada poet, but his ensuing work places classic epics side-by-side with the Icelandic sagas of the 13th and 14th centuries. His newest book, The Whispering Muse (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), one of three recently made available in English, takes place aboard a ship where one of the sailors carries a splinter from the masthead of the Argo. When he holds it up to his ear, Athena speaks to him. We discuss how literature comes from literature: one story giving birth to the next to form a rich and beautiful chain-work of story-telling.


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