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Omnivoracious w/ Bragi

Omnivoracious, Amazon.com’s weblog, has an interview with Bragi Ólafsson about The Pets, lies, and his new book:

Amazon.com: Tell me more about that, what that was like.

BÓ: Most of the time it was very stupid questions and silly answers. That’s what the pop press is basically about. Playing around. Because there isn’t so much to talk about. And, of course, we had to talk about Iceland because people were curious about the music scene in Iceland and how cold it is in Iceland. We told a lot of lies about Iceland because we were in the position to make fun of the whole thing, instead of just giving dry answers to these questions. And, I think Björk still does that sometimes. She gives really strange facts about our country.

Amazon.com: Do you remember any of your lies?

BÓ: Well, it was about what the food is or the drinks or some extremities. Probably something about drinking, because Iceland, like Finland, has a reputation for being big drinkers. So we tended to exaggerate that a bit. Here’s a story about playing with the media: Once, when in Denmark the government passed the laws on gay marriage—it would have been ’89 or ’90—they were the first European country to allow gay persons to get married. Me and the main singer of the Sugar Cubes, we sent out a press release to the press saying that we had gotten married in Denmark and had gone on our honeymoon in Sweden, and the press believed it. Every single newspaper. It was on the front page of Liberation in France.

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BÓ: The book I’m writing now is about this character’s father, who is approaching 70 and his friend—a film director and a playwright, but they’ve never had the opportunity to make a film or have a play staged. But all of a sudden they got the opportunity, because an old friend of theirs, who’s a pharmacist, gives them money to start making a picture. So it’s about that, and it’s about other things. At the same time, one of these characters, his father dies and he lives in Hull, it’s an old fishing port in England, and they had to go to Hull to collect his inheritance. As usual in my books, it’s two stories that come together somehow.

If I would have to explain what these books are about, I would say it’s about how to write, how to write a fiction. Because what interests me most in writing fiction is the view, how you see the world, from what point of view. And so, this story I’m writing now is told by a female character, who knows these characters. She’s not really a part of the story, but she’s somehow connected to it. She both knows everything about these characters and she knows nothing. It’s the first time I’ve used a female protagonist.



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