‘iceland was iceland before france was france or england was england or italy was italy’

I’m so excited.

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My boyfriend picked this up for me after spotting it in a charity shop, and I was delighted! God bless men who know that the way to a girl’s heart is via… prose works of the 12th century. I think I speak for all womankind when I say this stuff gets us worked up like nothing else. Although when I tried reading him some of the very first story, Egil’s Saga, he did doze off a bit.

But don’t you love a book that demands perseverance?

I’m so stoked about reading this book though! Apparently the Íslendinga sögur are a precursor to the modern European novel, or a bridge between that form and mythology. I hope that I love it like I loved The Golden Ass, as opposed to finding it difficult, like The Mabinogion. The introduction is brilliant and clever and full of lovely epic terms like “The Viking Age” and “The Saga Age”. It also does a hilariously dry job of calling out Medieval Icelanders on their racism towards Greenlanders and native Americans (nothing too gross but apparently they referred to the two very different cultures by the same nickname). The title of this entry is from that intro.

Anyway, on the topic of Scandinavia, the facebook page for the Fjallraven Kanken backpack has been posting the most wonderful retro images from their 1980s and 1990s catalogue. Here are some examples, you can click through to see the page and some more photos:

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26777_367370169179_159122_nSorry if this post seems a little nothingy. I have about a hundred drafts that just end up getting longer and longer every time I think I’ve almost finished them. But hopefully soon I really WILL finish them, which will be nice.

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