I have seen the universe! It is made of poems!
Katie Paterson introduced the project [ Future Library ] to a handful of writers at a very fine international literary festival in Denmark at the Louisiana Museum, I sent her an e-mail when I got back to Iceland, saying, "It's a wonderful project.
[ Bob Dylan] should let the Nobel Prize Committee know if he is accepting it or not. He will not be the first one who declines the prize for political or personal reasons. He should just tell them.
Paul Beatty for "The Sellout" sounds like a relevant story for our times. It's playful, uses deep thought and seems to be taking advantage of everything literature can do when tackling difficult issues.
The option is always on the table. When we [with Bjork] were starting as creative kids in the Eighties, we found each other. I was 19, she was 16 and a friendship was made.
Bjork is one of my oldest friends so we share the friendship and common roots. That is what we build on when we work together.
Now 10 percent of this population [in Iceland] of 330,000 people were born elsewhere - Polish, North Africans, Europeans, Americans - people are coming from all over. It is still changing society in a good way.
A great number of tourists have been flocking Iceland and those numbers are growing every year. That also raises questions like "How do we receive people?" and "How do we present our country?"
What literature brings to our times is always the fact that literature refuses to bring any simple or easy answers.
Literature acknowledges that life is complicated.
[Bob Dylan] builds his lyrics, of course, from personal experience, but it's also a literary work. He draws heavily on his knowledge of American lyric tradition as well as European modernism. But he should let the Nobel Prize Committee know if he is accepting it or not.
[Bob Dylan] is a worthy laureate for the Nobel Prize.
I usually leave Reykavik for two to three weeks to go to the South Coast of Iceland where I have a small fisherman's hut from the beginning of the last century. That's where I sit down and do the actual writing. I might write for 16 hours a day or something. That's how it happens.
I followed the launch of the library with Margaret Atwood and then David Mitchell. I just sat quietly at home secretly envying them. Then just over a month ago she asked me if I would like to be the third author to join the library.
All authors secretly hope that their works will be read in 100 years' time and 200 years, and that they will somehow survive into the future.
I have to face questions like, "Do I simply write the best text I possibly can? Do I specifically engage with contemporary issues? 'Do I consciously try to write something that is timeless?"
One thing for sure is it will be written in the Icelandic language. All of my literary work is.
I will just take the chance that the language will still be relevant in 100 years, which is something we cannot take for granted with a language that is spoken by 330,000 people.
I'm not one of those writers who writes everyday.
I do quite extensive research for most of my novels.
Much of my time is taken up by reading, researching and trying out ideas.
Politics enter dangerous ground, when people proclaim there are simple answers for our complex world.
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