In universal history, the wars and books of Scandinavia are as if they had never existed; everything remains isolated and without a trace, as if it had come to pass in a dream or in the crystal balls where clairvoyants gaze. In the twelfth century, the Icelanders discovered the novel-the art of Flaubert, the Norman-and this discovery is as secret and sterile, for the economy of the world, as their discovery of America.

Jorge Luis Borges