The Sagas of Icelanders
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|Author||: Jane Smiley|
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age. A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world’s great literary treasures – as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ultimately, North America. Sailing as far from the archetypal heroic adventure as the long ships did from home, the Sagas are written with psychological intensity, peopled by characters with depth, and explore perennial human issues like love, hate, fate and freedom.
|Author||: Carl Phelpstead|
Combining an accessible approach with innovative scholarship, An Introduction to the Sagas of Icelanders provides up-to-date perspectives on a unique medieval literary genre that has fascinated the English-speaking world for more than two centuries. Carl Phelpstead draws on historical context, contemporary theory, and close reading to deepen our understanding of Icelandic saga narratives about the island's early history. Phelpstead explores the origins and cultural setting of the genre, demonstrating the rich variety of oral and written source traditions that writers drew on to produce the sagas. He provides fresh, theoretically informed discussions of major themes such as national identity, gender and sexuality, and nature and the supernatural, relating the Old Norse-Icelandic texts to questions addressed by postcolonial studies, feminist and queer theory, and ecocriticism. He then presents readings of select individual sagas, pointing out how the genre's various source traditions and thematic concerns interact. Including an overview of the history of English translations that shows how they have been stimulated and shaped by ideas about identity, and featuring a glossary of critical terms, this book is an essential resource for students of the literary form. A volume in the series New Perspectives on Medieval Literature: Authors and Traditions, edited by R. Barton Palmer and Tison Pugh
|Author||: William R. Short|
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-Age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include Icelandic religion, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and major milestones in life of Viking-Age Icelanders. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
|Author||: Peter Hallberg|
|Editor||: U of Nebraska Press|
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.
|Author||: William R. Short|
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include religion, housing, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and the early history of Iceland. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
|Author||: Richard Fidler,Kari Gislason|
|Editor||: HarperCollins Australia|
'I adored this book - a wondrous compendium of Iceland's best sagas' - Hannah Kent A new friendship. An unforgettable journey. A beautiful and bloody history. This is Iceland as you've never read it before ... Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland - the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown. Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery - a gift from Kari's Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.
|Author||: Margaret Clunies Ross|
|Editor||: Cambridge University Press|
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.
|Author||: Viðar Hreinsson,Robert Cook|
The set contains "the first complete, coordinated English translation of The sagas of Icelanders, forty in all, together with forty-nine of the shorter Tales of Icelanders."--Preface.
|Author||: Jane Smiley|
These exquisite twin novellas chronicle the difficult choices that reshape the lives of two very different families. In Ordinary Love, Smiley focuses on a woman’s infidelity and the lasting, indelible effects it leaves on her children long after her departure. Good Will portrays a father who realizes how his son has been affected by his decision to lead a counterculture life and move his family to a farm. As both stories unfold, Smiley gracefully raises the questions that confront all families with the characteristic style and insight that has marked all of her work.
|Author||: Gisli Sigurosson|
|Editor||: Penguin Classics|
The all -time bestselling of the sagas in Penguin Classics, The Vinland Sagas are published here in a vibrant new translation. Consisting of The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red s Saga, they chronicle the adventures of Eirik the Red and his son, Leif Eirikson, who explored North America 500 years before Columbus. Famous for being the first-ever descriptions of North America, and written down in the early thirteenth century, they recount the Icelandic settlement of Greenland by Eirik the Red, the chance discovery by seafaring adventurers of a mysterious new land, and Eirik s son Leif the Lucky s perilous voyages to explore it.
|Editor||: Penguin UK|
Comic Sagas and Tales brings together the very finest Icelandic stories from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, a time of civil unrest and social upheaval. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains and avenging sons do battle with axes, words and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages and religious conversions in medieval Iceland and beyond. Shaped by Iceland's oral culture and their conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humour and stylistic innovation.
|Author||: Magnus Magnusson,Hermann Pálsson|
Written around 1245 by an unknown author, the Laxdaela Saga is an extraordinary tale of conflicting kinships and passionate love, and one of the most compelling works of Icelandic literature. Covering 150 years in the lives of the inhabitants of the community of Laxriverdale, the saga focuses primarily upon the story of Gudrun Osvif's-daughter: a proud, beautiful, vain and desirable figure, who is forced into an unhappy marriage and destroys the only man she has truly loved – her husband's best friend. A moving tale of murder and sacrifice, romance and regret, the Laxdaela Saga is also a fascinating insight into an era of radical change – a time when the Age of Chivalry was at its fullest flower in continental Europe, and the Christian faith was making its impact felt upon the Viking world.
|Author||: Gwyn Jones|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press, USA|
Selected by Gwyn Jones - the eminent Celtic scholar - for their excellence and variety, these nine Icelandic sagas include "Hen-Thorir," "The Vapnfjord Men," "Thorstein Staff-Struck," "Hrafnkel the Priest of Prey," "Thidrandi whom the Goddesses Slew," "Authun and the Bear," "Gunnlaug Wormtongue," "King Hrolf and his Champions," and the title piece.
|Author||: Theodore Murdock Andersson|
|Editor||: Cornell University Press|
Andersson introduces readers to the development of the Icelandic sagas between 1180 and 1280, a crucial period that witnessed a gradual shift of emphasis from tales of adventure and personal distinction to the analysis of politics and history.
|Author||: Gareth Lloyd Evans|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
This volume is the first book-length study of masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders. Spanning the entire corpus of the Sagas of Icelanders—and taking into account a number of little-studied sagas as well as the more well-known works—it comprehensively interrogates the construction, operation, and problematization of masculinities in this genre. Men and Masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders elucidates the dominant model of masculinity that operates in the sagas, demonstrates how masculinities and masculine characters function within these texts, and investigates the means by which the sagas, and saga characters, may subvert masculine dominance. Combining close literary analysis with insights drawn from sociological theories of hegemonic and subordinated masculinities, notions of homosociality and performative gender, and psychoanalytic frameworks, the book brings to men and masculinities in saga literature the same scrutiny traditionally brought to the study of women and femininities. Ultimately, the volume demonstrates that masculinity is not simply glorified in the sagas, but is represented as being both inherently fragile and a burden to all characters, masculine and non-masculine alike.
|Author||: Bernadine McCreesh|
|Editor||: Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
The descriptions of the weather in medieval Icelandic sagas have long been considered unimportant, mere adjuncts to the action. This is not true: the way the weather is depicted can give us an insight into the minds of medieval Icelanders. The first part of this book illustrates how the Christian world-view of authors of the twelfth to fourteenth centuries influenced their descriptions of meteorological conditions in earlier times. The second part is more literary in approach. It points out the formulaic nature of descriptions of storms, and shows how references to the weather help to structure the narrative in some sagas. It also demonstrates how medieval Icelandic attitudes to the weather affect the portrayal of the hero.
|Author||: Jeff Janoda|
|Editor||: Chicago Review Press|
This retelling of the ancient Saga of the People of Eyri is a modern classic. Absolutely gripping and compulsively readable, Booklist said this book, "does what good historical fiction is supposed to do: put a face on history that is recognizable to all." And medieval expert Tom Shippey, writing for the Times Literary Supplement said, "Sagas look like novels superficially, in their size and layout and plain language, but making their narratives into novels is a trick which has proved beyond most who have tried it. Janoda's Saga provides a model of how to do it: pick out the hidden currents, imagine how they would seem to peripheral characters, and as with all historical novels, load the narrative with period detail drawn from the scholars. No better saga adaptation has been yet written."
|Author||: Jesse L. Byock|
|Editor||: Univ of California Press|
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.