Birkir Blær, (Þjóðar)sálin hans Jóns míns (Partus, 2017). 64-page paperback, section-sewn with French flaps, combining digital and lithographic print. 110 x 180 mm.
Birkir Blær is a young Icelandic essayist. The title of this book (National Soul of My John) refers to an Icelandic folktale in which a widow carries her late husband's soul up to heaven and demands that it be let in, despite his lifetime of misdeeds. The sociopolitical essay is a commentary on the narcissim and self-rightousness of modern Icelandic culture and politics. Its bold, attention-grabbing cover is a nod to the book’s theme, while the letterforms themselves, which are digitally altered to look a bit like woodcuts, have a homely, vernacular feel that articulates the counterpoint: the forms are exceeding their own bounds, but their style is parochial. The image of the mountaintop is a reference to the widow's ascent.