A history of the unconsoled: the plays of Guttormur J. Guttormsson
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An investigation of Guttormur J. Guttormsson’s (1878-1966) personal library housed in the Icelandic Collection of the University of Manitoba yields an interesting entry point into a dialogue with his published plays, a collection entitled Tíu leikrit (1930). Guttormur owned the entire collected works of nineteenth century playwright Henrik Ibsen. Ibsen’s works bear a certain significance to early twentieth century writers like Guttormur. It is a significance whose origin stems back to the philosophical writings of Immanuel Kant. Tracing a history of ideas out of Guttormur’s library from Immanuel Kant, through the European romantics, and into the works of Henrik Ibsen we arrive at an appropriate vantage point in which to consider Guttormur’s dramatic works, from the modern formalist perspective of the early twentieth century.