Icelandic book publisher Saga forlag received ISK 43 million (USD 333,000, EUR 248,000) in a grant from the Norwegian culture council last week for a universal translation of the Icelandic sagas to Norwegian. Their publication is scheduled for 2012.
An ancient Icelandic manuscript on display at the Culture House in Reykjavík. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“This secures the financial earnings from the publication,” Jóhann Sigurdsson, the publishing house’s owner, told Morgunbladid. Last week’s grant was the largest grant that has been allocated to the project—it has received ISK 50 million in total from Norway.
“It is also planned to publish the Icelandic sagas in Danish and Swedish and that project is being worked on simultaneously,” Sigurdsson said. “I have 40 translators working for me, who lead the project in these countries.”
Sigurdsson was also responsible for a universal translation of the Icelandic sagas to English, which were sold and distributed by Penguin.
“They have sold regularly and evenly through time and the distribution of the Icelandic sagas is multiple, compared to how it once was,” Sigurdsson said.
“Then in 2009 sales increased significantly—perhaps because Iceland has been a topic of discussions more often than it used to,” he concluded.