Thursday, July 12, 2007

Do You Believe in Elves?

Forty percent of Icelanders do! And Iceland has been highly literate for ... well, a very long time*, so it's not necessarily a case of simple-minded superstition. The Iceland Review author, however, resorts to blaming quaint rural superstition for this high percentage of believers. I have to give her some credit, though, as she refuses to "firmly deny" the elves' existence. Story: Iceland's Hidden People (Iceland Review Online, 7/6/2007 11:00am) * Notes on Iceland's literacy: Iceland experienced "increased literacy from around 1100 onwards and with all kinds of literary activities" (Time-Reckoning in Iceland), and "literacy has been universal in Iceland since the end of the eighteenth century (Iceland - History & Background).

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