Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hallgrímur's Magnificent 7%

The most memorable cultural event which I had during my 2004 trip to Iceland was experiencing a National Theatre production of a play adapted from Hallgrímur Helgason’s 1994 novel Þetta er allt að koma (Things Are Going Great).

My mind was, to use an overworked cliché, blown.

After the play I had realized that there was a lot more to Icelandic culture that I had imagined—where had these collective hallucinations sprung from?

Ten years on and I am still learning.

While it has been hard for me to explain to my friends my obsession,  Hallgrímur expresses an eloquent case for The Arts in his essay The Magnificent 7%  published in the Reykjavík Grapevine. It is a great, great summation of why Icelandic art and culture has become so important in the last thirty years. My impressions are, of course, shaped by a limited experience. But Hallgrímur’s Grapevine piece really gives an excellent overview to a vibrant scene, and why The Arts so are important, not just to the people in Iceland, but to everyone, everywhere.

Image: DV

By Professor Batty


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