Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Happy birthday, Nordic Voices

This blog is now one year old. What began as a team effort between several Nordic-oriented translators, conceived as an alternative (or challenge?) to the Swedish-only focus of SELTA and Swedish Book Review, has developed over the months in several different directions. The initial emphasis on translation and translation topics has receded, while the sometimes relentless foraging among the work of obscure and little-read Scandinavian authors has given way to what I hope is a more balanced presentation of literary texts considered for their own sake rather than for that of encyclopedic inclusiveness or specifically "Nordic" content.

The blog became solely my own when I decided to allow posts on subjects that don't necessarily have a "literary" connection or context, but do reflect social and other attitudes prevalent in the countries of Northern Europe and Scandinavia. Some of my colleagues seem to have thought that this was cheating - but it may just have been that the strains of accommodating strongly differing approaches to the subject of Scandinavian writing and reality were too great to be contained within a single blog.

Anyway, Nordic Voices (often, but not always, in translation) will continue to follow its basic aim of acting as a listening post or sounding board for what is new, or characteristic, or troubling, or pleasing about the Nordic literary scene and life in the Nordic countries today. It will do so less in terms of scholarly reviews and studies than by means of intermittent, sometimes even fragmentary presentations, translations and news items drawn from the Web, the media and above all from the work and statements of authors themselves. My hope is that readers who have little or no knowledge of the languages of the region can gain some familiarity with what is happening in Northern Europe today, through the often enlightening prism of creative writing.

Happy birthday, Nordic Voices!


  1. Happy birthday! Z dnem narodzhennya! :-)

  2. Thanks, Lev. And thanks for the link.

  3. Hello David. Congratultions for such a wonderful job. I am sure we all who follow Nordic voices are grateful for the wide approaching you offer to the Nordic world. I am not sure if in these days of information the barriers between diverse human disciplines should still stand. Since my humble point of view, in order to achieve understanding of a civilization and its cultural expressions it is necessary to be as close as possible to all the different elements that conform it. Receive my best wishes and then again, my congratulations for a highly valuable work, and hope we can continue enjoying your contributions for a while. Regards.

  4. Thank you, Alberto. Even though the U.K. presence here is somewhat depleted, it's good to know that people - readers, translators, others - from outside the Anglo-American Nordic translation "circuit" also visit this blog and derive some enjoyment from it. I hope to continue it in some form - and, as before, not as a specialist forum, but as a place where what Dr. Johnson called the "common reader" can find some things of interest.

  5. please do continue in this broad sense, the johnson approach is a good one and your blog is very enoyable, inspirative and informative, almost like a big shelf of books and everything is interesting and then there is the ars longa vita brevis conundrum of course. i'm not having an awful lot of smart stuff to say because i don't know much about the scandinavian world, but i remain the grateful reader.

  6. Thanks, Antonia. I'll hope to continue the blog in its current form. Though posting may be light at times, there always seems to be some more Nordic-related material that's worthy of attention, and it's nice to know that someone actually reads it. :-)


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