Reading is fundamental. This phrase is the name of a respected nonprofit literacy organization in the United States but also a stock phrase in the popular TV series RuPaul's Drag Race (2009-), where reading has a somewhat different meaning as the “the real art form of insult,” as it is defined in Jenny Livingston's documentary film Paris is Burning (1990), and it is fundamental to “throwing shade,” an important drag queen skill that borrows the phrase from Jane Austen's Mansfield Park (1814).

None of this would have been relevant to previous studies of skaldic poetics, but Kate Heslop's Viking Mediologies is a very different kind of book. The main reason the phrase came to my mind is that the reader does not get far into it before realizing that this is not only an ambitious and clever but a fundamental study that does not leave Skaldic Studies the same. But...

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