The universe of Bragi Ólafsson’s fiction is an unstable one, where character traipse from one book to another seemingly by their own, stubborn insistence. Due to their inaction and conflict-avoidance, his protagonists are constantly at risk of being swept into the realms of the absurd. Still they press on, unable to alter course or affect their own situation.
In Narrator, a casual glance at the post office leads G – the titular narrator – down a path of obsession. In the spur of the moment, he decides to follow another man and observe his day-to-day activities. The target is a virtual stranger; a former rival in love whom G once wished would disappear entirely from the face of the earth. As the two make their way through Reykjavík, G observes and passes judgement on his unwitting nemesis’s mundane existence, as he runs his errands and interacts with the people in his life.
However, becoming the narrator of another man’s life gradually brings G face to face with the disappointment of his own, unresolved story. What follows is an introspective look at regret and the stories we choose to tell ourselves about our own lives.