We now see the outlines of an alliance shaping up between Norway, Iceland, the Faroes and Greenland as opposed to Denmark, Sweden and Finland who belong to the EU. We are seeing a new North, comprising the non-EU Western North and the EU Eastern North. In the case of Iceland, it has with a some justification been suggested that as a result of external influences the Icelanders have more in common with the Celtic temperament than the Nordic mentalilty. This illustrates the fact that in our enthusiasm to examine the Norse traditions we should not overlook other influences, for example from the British Isles.Read it all.
Taking the birds' eye view of history, so to speak, we must at this point state that the euphoric Scandinavianism of the mid-nineteenth century has been eroded away. Back then, one could truly speak of a common goal which averted the rise of nationalist movements witnessed on the Continent. But strong interests in terms of realpolitik behind Scandinavianism as an alliance no longer exist. The contrary is rather the case, succumbing to temptations in the form of offers of new partnerships in the major central European movements.
Monday, 16 March 2009
The Dream of a Nordic Alliance
Much is often talked about the rivalries and divisions between the Nordic nations, based on differences that are seen nowhere so clearly as in the field of culture. Yet it's hard to find written discussions of the subject - as though it were something to be hidden away rather than given a public airing. I recently came across an interesting and in-depth study of the topic, not by a literary figure but by a Danish musicologist, Anders Beyer, who has written extensively about the music of Per Nørgård, among other composers. In his essay, Beyer considers the changing face of the North as it comes, rather uneasily, into contact with the "mainland" of Europe. Although the essay was written some time ago, back in 2002, it still has contemporary relevance, and could perhaps form the basis for further debate. Excerpt: