Alda Björk Valdimarsdóttir og Guðni Elísson: „Racked with guilt and left behind“. Hallgrímur Helgason and the Icelandic Economic Collapse
The article addresses author Hallgrímur Helgason’s role as a public figure and his involvement in social, political and economic debates in the years preceding the Icelandic economic collapse. In what amounts to a decade long struggle for power in an economy shaped by the recent privatization of important state industries (such as banking), Helgason’s name has consistently been associated with particular political and corporate factions. This has led to accusations that Helgason, essentially, was little more than a „hired pen“, doing the bidding of Baugur group, the largest of the corporations that set themselves up against the old economic elite. Helgason did indeed take part in formulating the ideas that eventually became a central part of the Icelandic idea of economic expansion, the discourse of „outvasion“, but it is also important to note that Helgason’s writings centered on the potential of Icelandic culture in an international context, rather than on the dreams of bankers and policy makers of transforming Iceland into international financial center.
Keywords: Hallgrímur Helgason, the Icelandic economic collapse, authorial responsibility, authors and society ideas of expansion, outvasion discourse