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A trove of traditional lore, this Icelandic prose epic tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and the mythic deeds of the dragonslayer, Sigurd the Volsung. The saga is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. Byock's comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of a narrative that reaches back to the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed.
Byock sees the crucial element in the origin of the Icelandic sagas not as the introduction of writing or the impact of literary borrowings from the continent but the subject of the tales themselves - feud. This simple thesis is developed into a thorough examination of Icelandic society and feud, and of the narrative technique of recounting it.
In this stimulating and reliable introduction to the Icelandic saga, Peter Hallberg correctly designates the genre as "Scandinavia's sole, collective original contribution to world literature." These prose narratives dating from the thirteenth century are characterized by a psychological realism which sets them apart from all other contemporary forms of European literature. Mr. Hallberg's emphasis is on the branch of saga literature which deals with the native heroes--with the settlement of Iceland by Norse chieftains and with the lives of these settlers and their descendants. After disposing of the controversial "free-prose" theory of the origin and transmission of these stories, the author treats such problems as style and character portrayal, dreams and destinies, values and ideals, humor and irony. Several of the major sagas are studied in some detail. The concluding discussion concerns the decline of saga writing and the role played by the Sagas in modern Scandinavian life and literature. Paul Schach's introduction and copious annotation furnish additional background material and bibliographical references to English translations of the individual sagas and to significant studies on the major problems of saga research. Although intended primarily for the layman, The Icelandic Saga is of value to the specialist since it judiciously evaluates and incorporates the revolutionary findings of the so-called "Icelandic school" of saga study.
Proclaimed as one of the finest Icelandic sagas, this text was written in about 1280 and refers to events a couple of centuries earlier. It is full of the details of everyday life, as well as the social structures of the society in which they take place.
The Rewriting of Njáls saga concerns itself with the process which enables literary texts to cross cultures and endure history. Through six interrelated case studies, Jón Karl Helgason focuses on the reception of Njáls saga, the most distinguished of the Icelandic sagas, in Britain, the United States, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, between 1861 and 1945. The editions and translations in question claim to represent a medieval narrative to their audience, but Helgason emphasises how these texts simultaneously reflect the rewriters' contemporary ideas about race, culture, politics and poetics. Introducing the principles of comparative Translation Studies to the field of Medieval Literature, Helgason's book identifies the dialogue between literary (re)production and society.
The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres - including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights - are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders is powerfully evoked. The first general study of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga to be written in English for some decades, the Introduction is based on up-to-date scholarship and engages with current debates in the field. With suggestions for further reading, detailed information about the Icelandic literary canon, and a map of medieval Iceland, this book is aimed at students of medieval literature and assumes no prior knowledge of Scandinavian languages.
Using a question-and-answer format, presents information about the manga and anime series featuring the young Ninja in training who must learn to control the powerful Fox Spirit who resides in his body.