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14 April 2008

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Robert Mighall

I agree, John. Sjorn waas a treat. A real discovery for me too, and one of the delights I sampled by the thimbleful.

Fiona Thompson

Seconded. These two events were really inspiring.

I loved the way Yang described each Chinese character as 'a little universe', making each line of a poem 'a world of universes'. They're not linear, he said. More like stars in space.

Yang was wonderfully dry, saying his poems give translators a very hard time - which he enjoys very much.

Sjon's work gave a wry insight into Icelandic culture. He said: 'Literature is the only tangible evidence of life in the last thousand years. Everything else has blown into the sea or been burned to keep us warm.'

And I agree with John that his ideas about literature from a small country are thought-provoking. Sjon said that stories from 'miniature countries' like Iceland or the Faroe Islands are platforms for universal stories. Then he went on to say that his book is 'an ode to the small and the weak - an attack on the big epic novel'. Small is beautiful.

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