Guðbergur Bergsson: Pioneering Icelandic Writer and Translator
Guðbergur Bergsson (16 October 1932 – 4 September 2023) was a prominent Icelandic writer and translator, born in the picturesque town of Grindavík. His literary journey began with a foundation in education, as he pursued his Teaching degree at the University of Iceland, followed by a deep dive into the world of literature at the University of Barcelona.
In Barcelona, Bergsson had a significant encounter with Jaime Salinas Bonmatí [es], a notable publisher and writer, which greatly influenced his literary pursuits. This influence marked the beginning of his extraordinary career as a translator, particularly renowned for his translations of Spanish literary works into Icelandic.
Bergsson made his literary debut in 1961 with the publication of his first book, marking the commencement of a remarkable literary career. Over the years, he authored an impressive collection of twenty books, spanning various genres including poetry and children’s literature. His literary endeavors were highly acclaimed, earning him the prestigious Icelandic Literary Prize twice.
In 2004, Bergsson achieved further international recognition when he was awarded the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize, often referred to as the ‘little Nobel.’ This accolade underscored the depth and significance of his literary contributions, not just within Iceland but on a broader Nordic literary stage.
On 4 September 2023, at the age of 90, Guðbergur Bergsson bid farewell to the world, leaving behind a legacy of exceptional literary works and remarkable translations. His impact on the Icelandic literary scene and his role as a bridge between Spanish and Icelandic literature will always be remembered and celebrated.