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Old 07-13-2005, 08:16 AM   #1
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Exclamation Building in Iceland? Better Clear It With the Elves First

"You have to watch out for the Nordic cliché," the Icelandic singer Bjork told The New Yorker magazine several years ago. "A friend of mine says that when record-company executives come to Iceland, they ask the bands if they believe in elves, and whoever says yes gets signed up."

Yet even Bjork cannot say no for sure. "We think nature is a lot stronger than man," she said in another interview, when the Elf Question came up. "A relationship with things spiritual has not gone away."

A belief not just in elves but also in the predictive power of dreams, in the potency of dead spirits and in other supernatural phenomena, is closely linked to Iceland's Celtic traditions and punishing, powerful landscape - especially the harsh weather and the rocks that appear everywhere.

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