by Lars Aronsson
(en liknande text finns även på svenska)
Does a Nordic canon exist? Is it even desirable? You can decide for yourself. We are providing some different voices on this topic, compiling lists from rankings and statistics indicating which books, authors, and kinds of literature are better or more popular than the rest.
One ranking is established by awarding the Nobel Prize for literature.
When Project Runeberg published an electronic facsimile edition of the history of Danish literature by Fr. Winkel Horn, we counted the number of pages devoted to each author, thus using bibliometrics to establish an instant ranking of that author's then current view of their importance. See the preface to the electronic edition of Fr. Winkel Horn, Den danske Literaturs Historie fra dens Begyndelse til vore Dage, 1881.
As part of Project Runeberg, we compile presentations of many Nordic Authors. Each author's presentation is a web page with a unique URL. Statistics from the web server helps us find the Most Popular Nordic Authors.
The Nordic countries are part of the western civilization, and if there is a Nordic canon it should be related to the one described by Harold Bloom, The Western Canon. The Books and School of the Ages, 1994. In the appendices of this book, Bloom only lists very few Nordic authors: