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 this collective hallucination sprung from?

   Ten years on, I'm still learning. It has been hard to explain to my friends my obsession, but Hallgrímur expresses an eloquent case for The Arts, not only in Iceland, but for all humanity in his essay The Magnificent 7% in the Reykjavík Grapevine. 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 in Iceland, but to everyone.

Image: DV

By Professor Batty


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