Sunday, July 05, 2009

Postcard from London, via Reykjavik

by Mary Kate Hurley

[Iceland -- the best layover ever]

One of the myriad things I'm doing this summer is researching Aelfric's Saints Lives in London at the British Library. Yes: I am actually consulting manuscripts, which is a new and exciting research prospect for me. I've been extremely lucky in terms of funding the trip: the Medieval Academy of America generously awarded me the E.K. Rand Dissertation Grant, one of several dissertation grants which they award each year.

Of course, I'll have a lot to say about the actual process of consulting the manuscripts (and I hope to blog a bit about Leeds, which I'll be attending next week, as well). But for now I have a quick question that I'd like to put to all you Norse specialists out there.

On my way over to London, I had a 10-hour layover in Reykjavik. Just enough time to trek all over the city (I was there mostly for the landscape -- museums and manuscripts are always interesting, but I was more intrigued by the land than the stuff from those who've lived on it), and then to head back for a short stay at the unofficial waiting area for Keflavik Airport travelers.

What caught my attention, however, was on the bus rides to and from Keflavik, where I found myself intrigued by these bizarre rock formations:



Now, I've tried googling them, and although I've found a few references, finding something specific about the structures is a bit difficult. So: anything strike you, dear readers? Some half-remembered fragment of a story from graduate school days past (long past or recently past...)? These seem like a lovely addition to the many other stones we've discussed here at ITM.

cross posted to OENY

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

it´s art, from the people who live there,not rock formations.

Mary Kate Hurley said...

That's actually what I assumed, anonymous, but I was wondering if we knew what people -- modern? Medieval? Ancient?

I know practically nothing about this other than the fact that they are there.

Jeffrey J. Cohen said...

Looking forward to seeing you in Leeds Mary Kate! And am truly wondering what that anthropomorphic stone art might be: how impressive it looks in that landscape.