ICELAND: A Hard Life

Among geographers, historians, and men of letters, Iceland has not fared well. Pliny barely admitted the place was anything more than a myth. An anonymous 10th-Century English poet called it "a gallows of slush." Hakluyt said: "To speak of Iceland is little need; save of stockfish." Shakespeare thought of the Icelander as a "prick-eared cur." Socially conscious Poet Hugh Wystan Auden, visiting in 1936 and 1937, wrote: "There's handsome scenery but little agricultural machinery."

Last week came a distinctly new angle on the forbidding duck-shaped island of the north. Source: 16 unpoetical Canadian soldiers who, after a stint in Iceland,...

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