I have mentioned the elves of Iceland before, including a documentary film, but I wish also to draw attention to this article in The Atlantic, which views the interest in elves as largely a post-1970s revival.
Icelandic music phenom Bjork once cautioned the New Yorker: “You have to watch out for the Nordic cliche,” she said. “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.”
One of my favorite parts starts eight minutes in, when a primary school teacher is explaining to the kids how the elves live in a boulder.
Only one of the numerous people interviewed is obviously New Age-y, with her talk about earth chakras, etc. And there is one guy in sort-of medieval Norse garb, his cap decorated with runes, who is described in the subtitle as a “sorcerer.” (Some people are speaking English, some Icelandic with subtitles.) The rest are pretty much down-to-earth Icelanders, a couple of whom describe their own outlooks as Pagan and/or Heathen.
You have heard stories about roads being routed around “inhabited” spots? Here is a civil engineer who did it.
Also the land itself: mountains, geysers, rocky coasts, cliffs — wonderful as well.
Call them “the hidden people,” call the them the Shining Ones, whatever you like. These are not garden gnomes we are talking about: “They’re not like small, ugly gnomes. They’re more like tall and beautiful.”
And they know what you want in bed. Whew!
“It would make the world a better place if more people had sex with elves.”