Útrásarvíkingar! The Literature of the Icelandic Financial Crisis
In a new book, Dr Alaric Hall charts how Icelandic novelists and poets grappled with the Crash over the ensuing decade.
As the first English-language monograph devoted to twenty-first-century Icelandic literature, Útrásarvíkingar! The Literature of the Icelandic Financial Crisis (2008–2014) provides Anglophone readers with an introduction to one of the world’s liveliest literary scenes.
Whilst the global banking boom of the early twenty-first century expanded towards implosion, Icelandic media began calling the country’s celebrity financiers útrásarvíkingar: “raiding vikings.”
This new coinage encapsulated the macho, medievalist nationalism which underwrote Iceland’s exponential financialisation. Yet within a few days in October 2008, Iceland saw all its main banks collapse beneath debts worth nearly ten times the country’s GDP.
Dr Alaric Hall also contributes a key case study for understanding global artistic responses to the early twenty-first century crisis of runaway, unregulated capitalism, exploring the struggles of writers to adapt realist forms of art to surreal times.