Utopia and Garden:
The Relationship of Candide to Laxness's Paradísarheimt

I have heard Hugh Nibley tell how he used to ride his bicycle from Provo to Spanish Fork in order to learn Icelandic and to acquire books from members of the Icelandic community, which was founded in 1855—the oldest continuous Icelandic settlement in North America. In several of his early articles on political theory, Dr. Nibley cites customs and institutions (e.g., the war arrow, the Althing, and so forth) in Icelandic sagas and historical texts to illustrate his arguments.1 This fascination has been passed on to his son, Michael, who took two courses in Old Icelandic from me some years ago. Because of these interests and also because Dr. Nibley has at times shown a marvelous capacity for earnest satire, it seemed to me an appropriate contribution to his Festschrift to discuss a novel about Mormons by Iceland’s Nobel laureate, Halldór Laxness, which is set partly in Spanish Fork and is influenced both by the Icelandic sagas and by Voltaire’s satiric masterpiece Candide.

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Although an author’s decision to translate a work by a writer of another age or nationality may not be the surest indication of his own view of the relative importance of the work in the span of world literature, it is at least evidence of serious appreciation—perhaps, even, an acknowledgment of apprenticeship. One thinks, for example, of Baudelaire’s translation of Poe, Hofmannsthal’s of Molière, Lundkvist’s of D. H. Lawrence, and Nabokov’s of Pushkin. It is worth noticing, therefore, that except for his Icelandic translations of several Danish novels by his fellow countryman Gunnar Gunnarsson, Halldór Laxness has translated only two major works in over sixty years of literary productivity—both of these in the war years of the early 1940s: Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, which he published as Vopnin kvödd in 1941, and Voltaire’s Candide, which he translated in twelve days late in 1943 and published under the title Birtíngur (Optimist) in 1945.2

Hallberg, Bergsveinsson, and others have examined Hemingway’s influence on the development of Laxness’s style. In the preface to Vopnin kvödd, Laxness himself implies this influence in his discussion of the similarity between Hemingway’s terse telegraphic style and the laconic style of the sagas. Hallberg argues that Laxness’s translation of Hemingway’s novel is the corollary to his contemporaneous editing of several of the sagas, using modern Icelandic spelling. Both of these activities of the early 1940s were, he suggests, preparations for the new terse, objective, nonsentimental style forged in Íslandsklukkan (Bell of Iceland), which first appeared in 1943.3

Little has been written, though, on the possibility of Voltaire’s influence on Laxness. Sønderholm identifies as Voltairean the praise of daily labor for one’s livelihood with which Laxness concludes his first novel Barn náttúrunnar (Child of Nature, 1919), but this is his only mention of Voltaire.4 In his critical study Skaldens hus, Peter Hallberg limits his discussion of Voltaire’s influence on Laxness to the gestation of Íslandsklukkan, noting some similarity between certain military experiences of Candide and Laxness’s hero Jón Hreggvidsson—forcible induction, drills, attempted desertion, and punishment.5 Beyond this, Hallberg suggests that “Voltaire’s little book may have contributed a detail or two to the milieu description” of Laxness’s novel, which is set in roughly the same period, but he does not specify what these details might be.6

The scope of the inquiry needs now to be extended, however, for it is not in Barn náttúrunnar or in Íslandsklukkan but in his Mormon novel Paradísarheimt, which appeared five years after his winning of the Nobel Prize, that one finds the greatest influence of Voltaire on Laxness’s oeuvre. Indeed, our understanding of this novel is considerably heightened when it is read against Candide. Even though over fifteen years elapsed between his translation of Candide and the publication of Paradísarheimt, Laxness has indicated that he began wrestling with the ideas that led to Paradísarheimt as early as 1927, that is, that the novel had begun to take shape in his mind even before he translated Candide.7 René Hilleret, in the preface to the French translation of Paradísarheimt, comments in passing on the Voltairean quality of Laxness’s irony: “Et il est impossible, tant par le style que par l’ironie souriante, mais au fond féroce, de ne pas comparer Laxness î Voltaire, au Voltaire ennemi acharné de l’intolérance, mère du fanatisme.”8 But no one, to my knowledge, has explored the structural and thematic correspondences between Paradísarheimt and Candide.

It will be useful to the subsequent discussion to summarize briefly the plot of Laxness’s novel and to identify its main source. Paradísarheimt tells of a simple Icelandic farmer, Steinar, who dreams of obtaining the Promised Land for his children. Recalling tales of the munificence of Viking kings, from whom he is descended, he first hopes to purchase a promised land in the form of property by giving a wonder-pony, symbol of his children’s sense of the marvelous, to the Danish prince when the royalty visit Iceland in 1874 for the millennial celebration of the founding of the country. But for his efforts he is only invited to visit the royal palace in Copenhagen where he receives, rather than a kingdom, autographed photographs, which he later trades for four cobbler’s needles. At the assurance of Bishop Thjódrekur, a Mormon missionary whom he had met in Iceland and now in Denmark, that the Promised Land of God has been established in Utah, Steinar sets out on the second part of his quest and remains in Utah, only partly assimilated into the Mormon community in Spanish Fork, awaiting the arrival of his wife and children who, in his absence, have been physically and economically exploited. His wife dies aboard ship; Steinar feels estranged from his children who arrive having long since thought him dead. With unarticulated disappointment, he returns to Iceland as a missionary, eventually making his way back to the old farm whence he began his quest. In the final scene he is laying stone upon stone, mending the broken walls of the derelict farm.

The overall plot of the novel is based on the writings of Eiríkur Ólafsson á Brúnum (1832-1900), a colorful figure and rather well-known writer of naive travel books and other autobiographical pieces, who became a Mormon in 1881. In his first travel book, Eiríkur tells how he sold a horse to the prince of Denmark during the millennial celebration in 1874 and how he went to Denmark and was received by the royalty who gave him autographed photographs. In 1879 Eiríkur, who was born at Hlíd, the setting of Steinar’s farm, moved to Mosfellssveit (where Laxness grew up) and there became a Mormon, convinced initially by Thórdur Didriksson’s adaptation of Parley P. Pratt’s A Voice of Warning (which he bought for a bottle of cheap brandy) and finally moved to join the Church by “the unjustified hatred heaped upon the Mormons.”9 He and his family traveled to Utah in 1881 (his wife died in Nebraska on the way); he stayed in Spanish Fork for eight years, filling one mission to Iceland, before leaving the Church and returning to Iceland for good in 1889. His second travel book and several shorter pieces document these experiences.10

Voltaire’s influence is less immediately apparent. The first point of correspondence between Candide and Paradísarheimt concerns genre: both works take their bearings from the picaresque tradition, and both are characterized by a tension between this tradition and other generic norms. Voltaire, as is well known, disliked the novels of sentiment and adventure that flourished in the eighteenth century. He developed his own narrative form, the conte philosophique, in a different direction. As Bottiglia defines it, the philosophic tale “is a fictitious prose narrative wherein theme molds all the other component elements (action, character, setting, diction, etc.) into a stylized, two-dimensional, emotionally sublimated demonstration.”11 The form has “a serious purpose of social satire or philosophic truth veiled beneath surface pleasantry and brilliance” and “a pervasive ironical tone pungently flavored with realism of detail.”12 But what is interesting about Candide, among the other philosophic tales, is that Voltaire commingles the conte philosophique and the picaresque novel, appropriating the latter in order to parody it and turn it against itself through ironic imitation.13 As Pierre de St. Victor has written, “C’est une destruction de la forme par la forme même.”14

Generic tension works at several levels in Paradísarheimt. In his essay on “The Origins of Paradise Reclaimed,” Laxness refers to the simple travel accounts of Eiríkur á Brúnum, Steinar’s historical prototype, as “a crude picaresque story.”15 Laxness seems not only to have perceived the picaresque quality of Eiríkur’s narratives, but also the ironic possibilities of the picaresque in his other model, Candide. Sigurdur Magnússon has commented that Paradísarheimt “is not constructed like a novel,” that it is a kind of “filosofisk lignelse” (“philosophical parable”; cf. conte philosophique), and that it is closely related to the picaresque novel in that there is a moral developed through irony and humor.16 The picaresque form is at best a tenuous vehicle for the representation of a quest for a philosophical ideal, but Laxness—ever the ironist whose creative energy thrives on a tension between humor and pathos—playfully undermines the seriousness of Steinar’s quest for the Promised Land by drawing upon a further narrative paradigm: the “Lucky Hans” folktale in which a simple-minded peasant sets out to market with a horse, barters for items of increasingly smaller value (for a sheep, a dog, and so forth), is easily persuaded to foolish decisions, and, returning home with only some cobbler’s needles for his efforts, loses these as he fords a stream.17

Voltaire had parodied the picaresque novel, it is true, but he had also used it to ironize his own philosophical inquiry; Laxness compounds the genres of novel, philosophic parable, picaresque narrative, and naive folktale in a way that at once enhances and undermines the seriousness of his subject.

In specifics of plotting, Paradísarheimt and Candide differ more than they resemble each other, but in overall design—beginning, middle, and end—they are remarkably similar. Both begin in a garden of childlike innocence; in the course of their peregrinations the protagonists of both—notable for their honest judgment and great simplicity of heart—visit a utopia; and at the end both affirm useful activity in a garden, a garden which stands in some contrastive relationship to the utopia. As long as Candide’s early experience is limited to the microcosm of the Castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh, the sententious pronouncement of Pangloss, “the greatest philosopher in the province and consequently in the entire world,”18 that this is the best of all possible worlds makes perfectly good sense. Candide listens intently and believes implicitly, “with all the good faith of his age” and innocence.19 Voltaire drives home the point of this protected garden by referring to the castle and its environs as the “paradis terrestre,”20 out of which Candide is driven when he is found embracing Cunegonde.

Similarly, Steinar’s little farm is a garden of innocence. The emphasis falls on a sense of continuity with the historical and legendary past and on the innocent wonder of childhood. Even the adults have “the same expression as children” and “their tribulations [are] as natural to them as the sorrows of childhood.”21 Whereas the optimist Pangloss had urged his position on a receptive audience, here his momentary counterpart, District Magistrate Benediktsson, whom Laxness calls an “idealist,” urges Steinar, who has fostered a sense of the marvelous in his children: “Never sell your children’s fairy tales.”22 And Steinar himself is heard to say, “The whole point is . . . that when the world ceases to be miraculous in the eyes of our children, then there is very little left.”23

After a variety of adventures and misadventures dotted here and there by sea travels and a journey across America (South for one and North for the other), both heroes arrive in a utopia—Candide in Eldorado and Steinar in “God’s City of Zion” in Utah. There are many points of correspondence between these two utopias: In both, the visitors are given a guided tour of the city; in both, material prosperity is seen as a sign of God’s special favor and as substantiation of Truth. In Eldorado, “the countryside was tended for pleasure as well as profit; everywhere the useful was joined to the agreeable.”24 In Zion, Pastor Runólfur tells Steinar: “You forget that every single thing contains a higher concept—good broth no less than a pair of topboots; the Greeks called this the Idea. It is this spiritual and eternal quality in all existence and in every thing that we Mormons live by. If anyone is so incompetent that he has neither broth nor topboots . . . he is not likely to have the Spirit, or eternal life either.”25 In both Eldorado and Zion, engineers build marvelous structures.26 In Eldorado, Candide marvels at the many “mathematical and physical instruments”;27 in Zion it is the sewing machine that gives practical evidence of the “cosmic wisdom.” Steinar’s guide says to him, “The cosmic wisdom . . . does not only manifest itself in enormous truths which can only be contained in the brains of fearfully largeheaded university professors; no, it lives also in the sewing machines.” Steinar responds that it cannot be denied “that it needs a great deal of philosophy to match a sewing machine.”28 The old Eldoradian tells Candide that his countrymen have nothing to pray for since everything they need has been granted;29 in Zion an outsider observes of the inhabitants that “When everyone has become sainted and is in Heaven, it’s impossible to do anyone any good.”30 In both Eldorado and Zion, God is praised all day long.31 Candide learns that in Eldorado everyone is a priest;32 in Zion, the lay priesthood extends to all men. In both Eldorado and Zion tables of plenty are described.33 The sheep of Eldorado differ in color, speed, and quality from European sheep;34 in Zion Runólfur shows Steinar the sheep he looks after in order to let him “admire how beautiful and thick their tails [are] compared with the stumps on Icelandic sheep.”35 Whereas Steinar had thirty sheep in Iceland,36 it is typical in Zion for a farmer to have ten thousand.37 Both of these utopias, which are bounded by high mountains containing precious metals, are associated with gold. In Zion, society is “governed by the All-Wisdom according to the Golden Book”;38 Steinar, who like the Eldoradians has never valued gold, says of Zion, “Sometimes I have the feeling that I am dead and have come to the land of eternity . . . [where stands] a wondrous palace on pillars, inlaid with gold and brighter than the sun.”39 In Eldorado the “yellow mud” itself is gold;40 in Zion the clay of which Steinar makes bricks, in cooperation with the “sun which the Lord of Hosts has given to people of correct opinions,”41 yields a steady stream of coins on which the sun also shines.42

Voltaire scholars disagree whether Eldorado constitutes, as Bottiglia would have it, “a dream of perfection, a philosophic ideal for human aspiration,”43 “a dynamic perfection,”44 or, as Kahn suggests, “a place of idle, sterile life” that “does not leave any room for amelioration or for activity, social or otherwise,” a “life pleasant, placid, and stagnant rather than ideal.”45 But there is no explicit condemnation of Eldorado in the work; here all indeed seems to be well. It is clear, however, that for all its virtues of Zion—and despite the hymn refrain “All is well, all is well”—the utopia Laxness describes has imperfections in and about its edges, perceived by people at the periphery who have not fully caught its vision. There is some religious intolerance (the broken cross on the Lutheran church testifies of the cosmic wisdom),46 some class distinction between Mormons and Gentiles (a Lutheran says “The man who has the best doctrine is the one who can prove that he has the most to eat; and good shoes. I have neither, and live in a dugout”),47 and some social ostracism (people no longer patronize a Josephite seamstress when her daughter has an illegitimate child by a Gentile;48 and Steinar himself admits in a letter to Bishop Thjódrekur that he has “sometimes noticed a certain coldness towards him from others”).49 But for believers at least, it is a place of abundance, a heaven on earth.

These criticisms of Zion are mild compared with those in Eiríkur á Brúnum’s exposé of 1891 or in the books of various other disaffected Scandinavians (like the Norwegian Julie Ingerøe, the Swede Johan Ahmanson, and the Dane Christian Michelsen) who wrote sensationally about their experiences in Utah.50 Laxness did considerable historical research, both in Utah and elsewhere, in preparation for the writing of the novel. This research led to his publication of several articles on Mormon history and society.51 In addition to Mormon scriptures, studies by Mormon historians (including Kate Bearnson Carter’s articles on the Icelandic settlement at Spanish Fork),52 and the writings of Eiríkur á Brúnum and Thórdur Didriksson53 (on whom Bishop Thjódrekur is modeled), Laxness read many accounts—both positive and negative—by nineteenth-century Scandinavians who experienced the Mormon Zion firsthand. One such account may have strengthened the connection he had begun to see between Voltaire’s utopia and Zion. Nels Bourkersson, a Swedish immigrant to Utah who lost his Mormon wife to a polygamist and returned disillusioned to his homeland, published a relatively well-known account of his experiences under the title Tre år i Mormonlandet (Three Years in Mormon Country) in 1867. Bourkersson, who delights in literary quotation (each chapter has its quaint epigraph), refers disparagingly to the Utah of the Mormons not only as “their ‘paradise’ ” but also as “their Eldorado.”54

After they have experienced their similar utopias in the course of their journeys, both Candide and Steinar find themselves finally in a garden. Here Pangloss, feeling that his theory requires unceasing demonstration, reminds Candide that when man was put into the Garden of Eden he was put there to work it. He then says:

All events are linked together in the best of possible worlds; for, after all, if you had not been driven from a fine castle by being kicked in the backside for love of Miss Cunegonde, if you hadn’t been sent before the Inquisition, if you hadn’t traveled across America on foot [as had the Mormon pioneers] . . . , if you hadn’t lost all your sheep from the good land of Eldorado [related to the “Lucky Hans” tale?], you wouldn’t be sitting here eating candied citron and pistachios.

That is very well put, said Candide, but we must cultivate our garden.55

In the final scene of Paradísarheimt, when Steinar, after returning to Iceland as a missionary and being received with cordial indifference rather than persecution, wanders out to the site of his old farm and notices that stones have rolled down, knocking over the stone fences,

he laid down his knapsack . . . , slipped off his jacket and took off his hat; then he began to gather stones to make a few repairs to the wall. There was a lot of work waiting for one man here; walls like these, in fact, take the man with them if they are to stand.

A passer-by saw that a stranger had started to potter with the dykes of this derelict croft. “Who are you?” asked the traveller. The other replied, “I am the man who reclaimed Paradise after it had been lost and gave it to his children.”

“What is such a man doing here?” asked the passer-by.

“I have found the truth and the land that it lives in,” said the wall-builder, correcting himself. “And that is assuredly very important. But now the most important thing is to build up this wall again.”

And with that, Steinar of Hlídar went on just as if nothing had happened, laying stone against stone in these ancient walls, until the sun went down on Hlídar in Steinahlídar.56

Although, as Paul Ilie has written, “It would of course be rash to identify Voltaire fully with Candide,” he may nevertheless be viewed in some sense as his surrogate.57 Ilie, Wolper,58 and others have examined the biographical matrix of Candide and have concluded that the themes of disillusionment, renunciation, and disengagement in Voltaire’s letters of the period lie at the heart of the work. Although there is still wide disagreement about the specific meaning of the ending of the work and about the relationship of the garden to Eldorado, it is clear that the idea of cultivating one’s garden—a phrase that becomes a commonplace formula in the letters—undergoes a development and enlargement in Voltaire’s thinking. To quote Ilie: “Having begun with the realistic need for protective withdrawal [to his garden-retreat], Voltaire had then idealized the garden as a higher state of perfection. But now he claimed for gardening a superior state of philosophical activity, an all-inclusive and hence self-sufficient philosophizing condition.”59 Disengagement does not mean a withdrawal to idleness; it is a dynamic ideal.

Partly through Laxness’s own invitation, interpretation of Paradísarheimt also finds a corner in the Icelander’s biography. Hallberg finds it tempting to interpret Steinar’s journey with his “soul-casket” to Copenhagen as corresponding to Laxness’s early immersion in Catholicism, Steinar’s quest for a material paradise for his family in Utah as representing Laxness’s socialist stage, and the final resignation as characterizing his own present refusal to be identified with any ideology.60 Sønderholm sees a relationship between the stages represented by Eiríkur’s three main works and Laxness’s own development: For him Eiríkur’s first little travel book on his journey to Denmark, which has no religious interest, corresponds to Laxness’s life before his conversion to Catholicism; Eiríkur’s second travel book, which tells of his conversion—his discovery of an ideology of salvation—and his eventual difficulty in reconciling this ideology with its social and material manifestation in Utah, corresponds to the two related periods in which Laxness subscribed to salvation ideologies, first to Catholicism in the 1920s and then to the radical socialism that dominated his thinking from the 1930s to the 1950s; and finally, Eiríkur’s repudiation of Mormon theology and custom in his last work of any length corresponds to Laxness’s own renunciation of all ideologies.61

Although such topical equations are, as Hallberg cautions, perhaps too pat, the novel is at once personal and universal. There is something of Laxness’s own spiritual and ideological odyssey in Steinar’s. From the standpoint of its overall treatment of a quest for truth and utopia, Paradísarheimt is perhaps Laxness’s most nearly autobiographical novel. Steinar’s cultivated habit of never saying yes or no reflects Laxness’s own ideological neutrality. Characteristic of his renunciation is his loss of interest in truth per se. In an interview for the newspaper Morgunbladid in which he was asked, “Has your consideration of the life of the Mormons brought you closer to the truth yourself?” Laxness responded, “I am not so much concerned with truth as with facts. The truth is to me such a philosophical notion. But those men who have sacrificed the facts for their system and have immersed themselves in their truth obtain a viable position in the world.”62 The favoring of fact over truth is a theme of the novel, as will have been apparent from Steinar’s comment that it “takes a great deal of philosophy to match a sewing machine.”

In “The Origins of Paradise Reclaimed,” Laxness discusses his longstanding fascination with the idea of a promised land ever since he stood before the temple and tabernacle in Salt Lake City in 1927 and recalled his childhood reading of Eiríkur á Brúnum’s travel books. He tried again and again to treat the topic, but could not get it into focus and gave up for years. He writes:

The truth is that to write successfully about the Promised Land you must have sought and found it in your own life with all that is implied in the concept. You must have made the pilgrimage yourself; figuratively speaking you must have crossed the ocean holding the rank of cattle, walked across the Big Desert on foot, fought within and outside yourself the continuous battles for your land over the years.

You go groping along through a jungle of ideas, which it would take volumes to describe, sometimes you get into blind alleys, at other times you are stuck in bottomless quicksand and saved by a miracle—until finally you find yourself in a small place, in a little enclosure which, it seems to you, has a sort of familiar look, a place that somehow looks like the old home. Was it the same garden from which you started? It seems so, but it is not. A wise man has said: He who goes away will never come back; it means that when he returns he is a different kind of person. Between the garden from which you set out and the garden to which you return lie not only the many kingdoms, but also the big oceans and the big deserts of the world—and the Promised Land itself as well.63

Candide ends in community, Paradísarheimt in isolation. The stylized generic mixture of Voltaire’s tale precludes sympathy with its characters; the novelistic level of Paradísarheimt engages our sympathy. The novel is informed by a deep melancholia at lost innocence and the passage of time—relieved, yet paradoxically augmented, by the puzzling humor that plays through the work. The novel suggests that man’s seemingly futile quest for paradise is not, as he so often supposes, a forward journey to a material promised land, a wedding of “a dream to geography and its truth to facts,” but an unaware attempt to retrace his steps back to innocence. The mellow tone becomes more poignant as time progresses in the fictive world Laxness creates and as Steinar senses that he left to find what he lost by leaving. As the novel says: only the man who sacrifices everything can obtain the promised land.64

But there is also a more affirmative sense of this ending—a sense more in line, perhaps, with the reading of Voltaire’s cultiver notre jardin as positive action. It represents a homecoming. In Zion, we are told, “Iceland vanished as soon as its name was spoken”; no one remembered its proverbs, no one recognized well-known quotations from the sagas.65 That too had been sacrificed. As brickmaker in Zion, Steinar had molded his clay before sunrise so that the sun, symbol of the All-Wisdom, could transform these perfect rectangular bricks into the building blocks of Zion, a harmony of matter and spirit.66 Although “the stone that tumbles down off the mountains of Steinahlídar on to the home-fields is as froth compared to the hand-made Utah stone sun-baked by the grace of God,”67 even Steinar’s new name, Stone P. (for Peter “rock”?) Stanford, affirms his fundamental affinity for the irregular stones of Hlídar. (Stein– in Icelandic means “stone”, as does Old English stan.) Generations had worked the walls of his homefield, indeed their best sections had been built by his forefathers. This human continuity is suggested by his patronym Steinsson and his daughter’s name Steinbjörg Steinarsdóttir, just as the rest of his name, Steinar of Hlídar in Steinahlídar (stone of slopes in stone slopes), links him to the land and to the ancient struggle to establish order below the peril of stone slopes. Even though, at the end, it is at sunset rather than sunrise that he begins to repair the old walls of his garden, there is a sense of new beginning, a more fundamental fact than philosophical truth, a more affirmative act than renunciation.

1. “The Arrow, the Hunter, and the State,” Western Political Quarterly 2/3 (1949): 328-44; “The Hierocentric State,” Western Political Quarterly 4/2 (1951): 226-53; and “Tenting, Toll, and Taxing,” Western Political Quarterly 19/4 (1966): 599-630. These papers are also available as reprints through F.A.R.M.S., Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

2. Halldór Laxness, tr., Vopnin kvödd (Reykjavík: Mál og menning, 1941) and Birtíngur (Reykjavík: Helgafell, 1945; rev. 1975). On Laxness generally see Peter Hallberg, Halldór Laxness, tr. Rory McTurk (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971), and Erik Sønderholm, Halldór Laxness: En monografi (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1981).

3. Hallberg, Halldór Laxness, 153-55; Peter Hallberg, Skaldens hus: Laxness’ diktning från Salka Valka till Gerpla (Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1956), 436-55. Cf. Sveinn Bergsveinsson, “Sagaen og den haardkogte Roman,” Edda (1942): 56-62.

4. Sønderholm, Halldór Laxness, 95.

5. Hallberg, Skaldens hus, 419, 438.

6. Ibid., 438. Translations from the Swedish of Hallberg and Bourkersson, the Danish of Magnússon and Sønderholm, and the Icelandic of Eiríkur á Brúnum and Laxness (newspaper interview only) are my own. I have left the brief critical statements by French scholars in the original.

7. Halldór Laxness, “The Origins of Paradise Reclaimed” (New York: Crowell, 1962), 5; this is a pamphlet issued in conjunction with the publication of the English translation of the novel.

8. René Hilleret, preface to Laxness, Le Paradis retrouvé, tr. (from English) René Hilleret (Paris: Gallimard, 1966), 7.

9. Eiríkur Ólafsson á Brúnum, Eiríkur á Brúnum: Ferdasögur, Sagnathaettir, Mormónarit (Reykjavík: Ísafold, 1946), 8, 102.

10. According to Hallberg, Eiríkur’s writings exerted an influence on Laxness’s eighteenth-century novel Íslandsklukkan as well. Jón Hreggvidsson, hero of the novel, is to some extent based on Eiríkur as well as on Candide (Peter Hallberg, “Laxness, konstnärskapet, ideologierna: Noget om hans senere diktning,” Nordisk Tidskrift [1967]: 88). This is further evidence that Laxness saw a relationship between Candide and Eiríkur’s naive travel books by the early 1940s.

11. William F. Bottiglia, “Voltaire’s Candide: Analysis of a Classic,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 7 (1959): 59.

12. Ibid., 58; citing (but not quoting) Dorothy McGhee, Fortunes of a Tale (Menasha, WI: Banta, 1954), 11-15, 35.

13. Bottiglia, “Voltaire’s Candide,” 134.

14. Pierre de Saint Victor, “Candide: De la parodie du roman au conte philosophique” Kentucky Romance Quarterly [now Romance Quarterly] 15 (1968): 383.

15. Laxness, “Origins,” 5.

16. Sigurdur A. Magnússon, “Islandsk skönlitteratur, 1959-61,” Nordisk Tidskrift (1962): 142.

17. This folktale, “Hans in Luck,” Grimm no. 83, Type 1415, is widely attested. I have cited the Icelandic version, see Jón Árnason, ed. Íslenzkar Thjódsögur og Æventyri, 2 vols. (Reykjavík: Sögufélag, 1954-61), 2:504-5. Cf. English version in The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales (New York: Pantheon, 1944; repr. 1972), 381-86.

18. Candide: or Optimism, tr. Robert M. Adams, Norton Critical Editions (New York: Norton, 1966), 2; Voltaire, Candide ou l’optimisme, ed. René Pomeau, The Complete Works of Voltaire, 48 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980), 120. I quote throughout from the Adams translation but also give the page reference to the standard Oxford edition by Pomeau.

19. Adams, tr., Candide, 1; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 119.

20. Adams, tr., Candide, 3; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 122.

21. Halldór Laxness, Paradise Reclaimed, tr. Magnús Magnússon (New York: Crowell, 1962), 27; original Icelandic edition, Halldór Laxness, Paradísarheimt (Reykjavík: Helgafell, 1960), 30. I quote from Magnússon’s English translation, which I have adjusted silently on occasion when it is clear that Laxness knew the Mormon idiom where his translator did not, but I also give the page reference to the Icelandic edition. On the theme of loss of paradise as the loss of childlike innocence in the novel, see Tryggvi Gíslason, “Paradís í Paradísarheimt,” Skírnir 146 (1972): 48-55. Sønderholm, who writes illuminatingly of the social and ideological matrix of the novel (capitalism, industrialism, renunciation of ideology), argues that in the novel “the paradise of childhood is fantasy and illusion,” that it is not the paradise Steinar seeks (Halldór Laxness, 295).

22. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 16; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 17.

23. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 17; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 18-19.

24. Adams, tr., Candide, 34; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 183.

25. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 164; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 191.

26. Adams, tr., Candide, 39, 40; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 190-91, 193; Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 145-46, Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 168.

27. Adams, tr., Candide, 39; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 191.

28. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 141-42; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 163.

29. Adams, tr., Candide, 37-38; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 189.

30. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 153; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 177.

31. Adams, tr., Candide, 37; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 188; Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 153; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 177.

32. Adams, tr., Candide, 38; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 189.

33. Adams, tr., Candide, 35-36; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 185; Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 159; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 185.

34. Adams, tr., Candide, 35; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 183.

35. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 139; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 160.

36. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 60; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 64.

37. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 30; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 33.

38. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 250; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 296.

39. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 151; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 175.

40. Adams, tr., Candide, 40; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 192.

41. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 148; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 171-73.

42. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 150; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 173.

43. Bottiglia, “Voltaire’s Candide,” 120.

44. Ibid., 116.

45. Ludwig W. Kahn, “Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ and the Problem of Secularization,” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 67 (1952): 888. For the continuing debate on the meaning and relationship of Eldorado and the garden, see (in addition to the studies of Bottiglia and Kahn) Donna I. Dalnekoff, “The Meaning of Eldorado: Utopia and Satire in Candide,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 127 (1974): 41-59; Rita Falke, “Eldorado: Le meilleur des mondes possibles,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 2 (1956): 25-41; Dennis Fletcher, “Candide and the Theme of the Happy Husbandman,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 161 (1976): 137-47; Jean Goldzink, “Roman et idéologie dans Candide: Le jardin,” La Pensée 155 (1971): 78-91; Patrick Henry, “Sacred and Profane Gardens in Candide,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 176 (1979): 133-52; Paul Ilie, “The Voices in Candide’s Garden 1755-1759: A Methodology for Voltaire’s Correspondence,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 148 (1976): 37-113; Manfred Kusch, “The River and the Garden: Basic Spatial Models in Candide and La nouvelle Héloise,” Eighteenth Century Studies 12 (1978-79): 1-15; Norman L. Torrey, “Candide’s Garden and the Lord’s Vineyard,” Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century 27 (1963): 1657-66; and Roy S. Wolper, “Candide, Gull in the Garden?” Eighteenth Century Studies 3 (1969-70): 265-77.

46. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 142; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 163.

47. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 164; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 191.

48. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 170; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 198.

49. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 162; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 189.

50. William Mulder, Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1957), 96-98.

51. I have discussed Laxness’s Mormon interests at length in “Halldór Laxness, the Mormons and the Promised Land,” Dialogue 11/2 (1978): 25-37 (which also appears in Icelandic as “Halldór Laxness, Mormónarnir, og fyrirheitna Landid,” tr. Jóhann S. Hannesson and Halldór Laxness, Lesbók Morgunbladsins, 5 May 1979, 1-5, 14-15). This study includes quotations from Laxness’s Mormon articles, newspaper interviews, and correspondence with Mormons, and is based in part on my interview with him in 1972.

52. See, for example, her “The First Icelandic Settlement in America” in Kate B. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage (Salt Lake City: Daughters of the Utah Pioneers/Utah State Historical Society, 1964), 7:477-556.

53. Thórdur Didriksson, Advörunar og sannleiksraust (Copenhagen: Vilhelmsen, 1879).

54. Nels Bourkersson, Tre år i Mormonlandet: Berättelser efter egna iakttagelser (Malmö: Cronholm, 1867), 9. Bourkersson’s book is discussed in detail by Richard G. Ellsworth, “The Dilemma of a Pernicious Zion,” BYU Studies 8/4 (1968): 407-22. See also Mulder, Homeward to Zion, 63, 98, 183, 255.

55. Adams, tr., Candide, 77; Pomeau, ed., Candide, 260.

56. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 254; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 300-301.

57. Ilie, “The Voices in Candide’s Garden, 1755-1759,” 112-13.

58. Wolper, “Candide, Gull in the Garden?” 265-77.

59. Ilie, “The Voices in Candide’s Garden, 1755-1759,” 87.

60. Hallberg, “Laxness, konstnärskapet, ideologierna,” 96.

61. Erik Sønderholm, Kongsfærd og bonderejse: En islandsk bonde i København 1876, Politikens Historiske Bibliotek (Copenhagen: Politiken, 1974), 206-7.

62. Halldór Laxness, as interviewed in Morgunbladid (Reykjavík) 23 July 1960, 9; cf. Tate, “Halldór Laxness, the Mormons and the Promised Land,” 33-34.

63. Laxness, “Origins,” 6-7.

64. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 49; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 55.

65. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 138; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 159.

66. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 148; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 171.

67. Magnússon, tr., Paradise Reclaimed, 148; Laxness, Paradísarheimt, 171.