How should we apply this to questions about Nordic/Scandinavian literature?
Scandinavia consists of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, and usually not Finland or Iceland; Scandinavian languages comprise Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and Icelandic but not Finnish (which is utterly different from almost any other European language); the Nordic countries are Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland.
To add to the confusion, Scandinavian languages are all very similar to each other: Norwegian and Danish are essentially identical in written form; Swedish has one letter different and the occasional different word; Icelandic is more archaic and the closest to Old Norse, the ancestor of them all. With the possible exception of Icelandic, they are not only mutually intelligible to any native speaker but probably have less variation between them than there is variation within Norwegian between different regional dialects. What's more, the Scandinavian countries themselves were all one until just a couple of hundred years ago; any cultural differences between the three (again, more significant differences than exist between one Norwegian valley and another) are likely to be recent inventions.
Furthermore, we have to take their ancestor language Old Norse into consideration. There is a body of literature written in this language, and it's probably impossible to draw a clear line between where Old Norse stops and the modern Scandinavian language(s) begin.
Taking all this into account, I see a few different possibilities:
- separate tags for norwegian-literature, swedish-literature, danish-literature, icelandic-literature, finnish-literature, and I suppose norse-literature
- a single scandinavian-literature (or norse-literature?) tag to cover all four modern Scandinavian languages and Old Norse, with finnish-literature separate
- shove the whole lot under nordic-literature
While there aren't many questions yet about Nordic literature, this issue may become very relevant next month if the Icelandic sagas make it to our next topic challenge. I already raised the issue in chat, but without inspiring much discussion or consensus, so now I've brought it to meta.