Season Eight of the Two Month Review: CODEX 1962 by Sjón
If you’re a long-time listener to the Two Month Review podcast, or even a part-time follower of the Open Letter twitter, you’ve probably already heard that the next season of the podcast (it’s eighth?!) is going to be all about Sjón’s CoDex 1962.
“Spanning eras, continents, and genres, CoDex 1962—twenty years in the making—is Sjón’s epic three-part masterpiece
Over the course of four dazzling novels translated into dozens of languages, Sjón has earned a global reputation as one of the world’s most interesting writers. But what the world has never been able to read is his great trilogy of novels, known collectively as CoDex 1962—now finally complete.
Josef Löwe, the narrator, was born in 1962—the same year, the same moment even, as Sjón. Josef’s story, however, stretches back decades in the form of Leo Löwe—a Jewish fugitive during World War II who has an affair with a maid in a German inn; together, they form a baby from a piece of clay. If the first volume is a love story, the second is a crime story: Löwe arrives in Iceland with the clay-baby inside a hatbox, only to be embroiled in a murder mystery—but by the end of the volume, his clay son has come to life. And in the final volume, set in present-day Reykjavík, Josef’s story becomes science fiction as he crosses paths with the outlandish CEO of a biotech company (based closely on reality) who brings the story of genetics and genesis full circle. But the future, according to Sjón, is not so dark as it seems.
In CoDex 1962, Sjón has woven ancient and modern material and folklore and cosmic myths into a singular masterpiece—encompassing genre fiction, theology, expressionist film, comic strips, fortean studies, genetics, and, of course, the rich tradition of Icelandic storytelling.”
I highly, highly recommend getting a copy of this Best Translated Book Award longlisted title and following along with this podcast. We have a great array of guests lined up, from some returning all-stars to some new voices, and, if all goes according to plan, Sjón himself!
For those who like reading along, here are the official dates for the release of the audio podcasts. As always, the live videocasts will take place a day earlier (every Wednesday) and are available forever on our YouTube channel (in case you like to admire Brian’s amazing wall or watch me gesticulate wildly). If you watch us live, you can ask questions, make comments, and help improve the overall quality of the show. (Help us? We need it?)
April 25: Introduction
May 2: Pages 1-57
May 9: 58-109
May 16: 110-155
May 23: 156-198
May 30: 199-256
June 6: 257-302
June 13: 303-344
June 20: 345-406
June 27: 407-450
July 4: 451-517
Buy a copy of the book. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and Apple podcast. And while you’re there, please give us a rating. We greatly value your feedback, and your ratings and comments help others find our podcast. You’re doing a service of bringing great Icelandic literature to readers who may not have known that they need it.