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Possibilities of text

Sjón in The White Review:

One of the wonders of the novel is how easily it absorbs diverse texts. Everything that is written, whether it is non-fiction, old archives, newspaper articles, lullabies – somehow it can always find its place in the novel, and for that reason the novel became more important to me than the poem. The novel is encyclopaedic: all of the different manners of expressing oneself in words can find their place there. In the Eighties my friends and I formed a group of surrealist poets called Medusa. Surrealism brings so much with it and one of the first things I realised when I became excited by surrealism was its link with folk stories. Surrealism is always non-academic, always looking for the source of human activity, looking into the back alleys and the darkest clearing in the forest for excitement. Somehow it was always very natural for me to bring all these different things together in what I was doing.

First posted: Tuesday, October 9th, 2012.

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  1. [...] without so much as a second’s hesitation. Why? Because, as the Icelandic novelist Sjón recently reminded us, novels are by their nature absorptive. They move through oceans of data like blue whales, sucking [...]