Daniel Vetter's Islandia: The Curious Encompassed within the Divine
This study examines the travelogue Islandia (1638) of Daniel Vetter. It argues that the references to God and his divine assistance throughout the narrative part of the travelogue create a subtle semantic net upon which the message of the text, that is to portray the magnificence of God's deeds, is based. A recurrent topic of danger, permeating the narration, serves as a medium for such a portrayal. The descriptive part of the travelogue is interpreted as another Vetter's way of portraying the magnificence of God's deeds. While depicting Iceland, which is seen as a curious Kunstkammer, every aspect of Icelandic reality is portrayed as being in some way curious and peculiar, contributing to the image of the land included within God's plan. At the closing of the travelogue, these two ways of portraying are linked together. The curious is not only connected with, but finally also encompassed within, the divine.