Angels of the Universe, by Einar Mar Gudmundsson
1993, English translation by Bernard Scudder 1995
What is reality?
If I was looking inside another world, it stood large as life before me, but if this was reality I do not understand it in the slightest. Naturally I understand as little of reality as it does of me. In that respect we are quits. Yet it owes me no explanations for anything and I have paid it what it is due...We who are committed to asylums and kept in institutions, we have no answers when our ideas are at odds with reality, because in our world other people are right and know the difference between right and wrong.
The protagonist and narrator of this novel is Paul, whose story of encroaching mental illness reveals truths that reach beyond fiction. Gudmundsson's language is appealing and seductive in a natural, unadorned way. This book is easy to read and hard to put down, but it is in no way simple. It is a very complex, delicate and nuanced piece of writing. It is a book that becomes richer with each reading.
Now that I have read the book, I can finally watch the movie. A review is on the horizon.