Jerábková-Bartoskova, Marta : "Guðbergur Bergsson (1932- )"
Icelandic Writers. Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 293, ritstj. Partick J. Stevens, Detroit, Gale 2004, s. 70-76
See also: Neijmann, Daisy L., ed. A History of Icelandic Literature. University of Nebraska Press, 2007, pp. 421, 423-426, 430, 435, 439, 448, 454, 448
Dagný Kristjánsdóttir: "Fra andeunge til svane/ From duckling to swan"
Nordic Literature Magazine 1993
The Swan (1991), which was nominated for the Nordic Council''s Literature Prize, is a curious book. Superficially it deals with a nine-year old girl who is sent away from home over the summer to learn manners in proximity with nature and simple people in the country. Few dramatic events take place except for the magical conclusion. If one sticks to the concrete action in the novel,it is not so different from that in many Icelandic books for children and young people that show how city children are sent from the pernicious urban environment to be reeducated in "innocent" surroundings. But Guðbergur''s novel is no children''s book, and it concerns not the girl''s real experiences, but how she deals with them psychologically.
The girl in the novel develops from a child into a woman during this summer, from a pupa into a butterfly, from an ugly duckling into a swan. She is in the borderland between youth and adulthood, and this summer she learns that borders are unreal. Everything contains its opposite: life carries death inside it; beauty embraces ugliness; love has cruelty in it.
The book''s depictions of nature hardly have a parallel in Icelandic literature, and the beauty of the language spreads a veil over the text''s calm or sorrow.
Ármann Jakobsson: Faðir og móðir og dulmagn bernskunnar (Father and Mother and the Mystery of Childhood)
DV December 12th 1997
It goes without saying that Guðbergur Bergsson is one of the major geniuses of Icelandic literature in this century, and seldom has he been better than in this unique autobiographical novel. [...]
The reader is drawn into the mythical world of Bergsson''s youth in Grindavík. There, both the boy Guðbergur and the writer parttake in the narrative, for in this story of childhood the past, the present and the future stand side by side. In his youth Guðbergur was meant to be a carpenter but he was too dexterous for that. The structure of this work could, however, well be compared to the work of a skillful craftsman, and Bergsson''s craftsmanship has enriched Icelandic literature. [...]
The book is called volume I and that gives one a reason to celebrate. This promises that with this work Guðbergur Bergsson has started to put together his powerful autobiographical novel. We would like to hear more.Til baka