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Welcome to the Homo ludens Publishing webpage!

The name “Homo ludens,” or “the play of man,” is based on the philosophical idea and book by Dutch philosopher Johan Huizinga, who “defines play as the central activity in flourishing societies. Like civilization, play requires structure and participants willing to create within limits.”(1)

When I was starting efforts to construct authoritative editions of Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson´s works, Þorkell and I had a fun conversation where he said (with a big smile on his face), “So, what will we name our publishing company?” We threw some ideas around, but nothing seemed to work or be satisfactory.

Early in 2013, Ríkisútvarpið (the National Radio Broadcasting Service of Iceland) aired an in memoriam program to honor Þorkell and his music. The program was named “Homo ludens.” I listened over the Internet, and the first words were Þorkell speaking: “Homo ludens… Hinn leikandi maður.” (“Homo ludens… The Play of Man.”) It was in that moment that our publishing company´s name was created.

Þorkell and his music are often described as “playful” in nature. The titles of his compositions are fanciful, and often there are fun stories behind why the piece was composed. His sense of humor was widely recognized and appreciated, and his knowledge of literature, poetry, history, and the arts is implicit in his works.

-Dr. Kristín Jónína Taylor, editor

(1) Google Books, “Homo Ludens: A study of the Play-element in Culture, com/books/ about/Homo_Ludens.html?id=oZgA8UDf3_4C, accessed May 28, 2014.

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