“Iceland: Where one in ten will publish a book”

Speaking of our class discussion today about an inundation of books bypassing the traditionally limited gatekeeping of publishing, and a new era of democratizing authorship, here’s an article I saw a while ago about how…

“Iceland is experiencing a book boom. This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world.”

I couldn’t find anything else through an easy search online (everything else was simply referencing the BBC article), but it’s certainly interesting, and if anyone finds out anything more just comment about it! The article discusses literary culture in Iceland and possible causes of the boom…

“We are a nation of storytellers. When it was dark and cold we had nothing else to do. Thanks to the poetic eddas and medieval sagas, we have always been surrounded by stories. After independence from Denmark in 1944, literature helped define our identity.”

On an unrelated note, here’s the article Dr. Schacht mentioned in class– Susan Sontag’s Against Interpretation (~only eight pages, worth a read):

“…Today… the project of interpretation is largely reactionary, stifling. Like the fumes of the automobile and of heavy industry which befoul the urban atmosphere, the effusion of interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities. In a culture whose already classical dilemma is the hypertrophy of the intellect at the expense of energy and sensual capacity, interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art…

…In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art.”



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