Gisli Sursson's Saga and the Saga of the People of Eyri

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141941898

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 9869

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These sagas recount fierce feuds in which honour is fought for, sacrifice is demanded, and blood is shed. The fate of the characters at the centre of each saga, however, is very different. Gisli is a traditional Viking-age hero who is determined to exact revenge at any cost and whose death is tragic when it comes. In contrast his nephew, Snorri, represents a new generation and acts to strengthen the new social order. Taken together these sagas reveal the richness and variety of the saga tradition.

The Saga of Grettir the Strong

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141937920

Category: Fiction

Page: 320

View: 9811

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Composed at the end of the fourteenth century by an unknown author, The Saga of Grettir the Strong is one of the last great Icelandic sagas. It relates the tale of Grettir, an eleventh-century warrior struggling to hold on to the values of a heroic age becoming eclipsed by Christianity and a more pastoral lifestyle. Unable to settle into a community of farmers, Grettir becomes the aggressive scourge of both honest men and evil monsters - until, following a battle with the sinister ghost Glam, he is cursed to endure a life of tortured loneliness away from civilisation, fighting giants, trolls and berserks. A mesmerising combination of pagan ideals and Christian faith, this is a profoundly moving conclusion to the Golden Age of the saga writing.

The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale

Author: Leifur Eiricksson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141917423

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 9630

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The action of the saga takes place at the end of the tenth century, at about the time Scandinavia was converting from worship of Norse gods to Christianity. A masterpiece of medieval literature, the story focuses on two families — that of Hoskuld, a prominent farmer with several sons, and that of Gudrun, the most beautiful woman ever born in Iceland.

Comic Sagas and Tales from Iceland

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141975520

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 5771

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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.

Hrafnkel's Saga and Other Icelandic Stories

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141961422

Category: Fiction

Page: 144

View: 8797

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Written around the thirteenth century AD by Icelandic monks, the seven tales collected here offer a combination of pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics. They take as their subjects figures who are heroic, but do not fit into the mould of traditional heroes. Some stories concern characters in Iceland - among them Hrafknel's Saga, in which a poor man's son is murdered by his powerful neighbour, and Thorstein the Staff-Struck, which describes an ageing warrior's struggle to settle into a peaceful rural community. Others focus on the adventures of Icelanders abroad, including the compelling Audun's Story, which depicts a farmhand's pilgrimage to Rome. These fascinating tales deal with powerful human emotions, suffering and dignity at a time of profound transition, when traditional ideals were gradually yielding to a more peaceful pastoral lifestyle.

Bloodtaking and Peacemaking

Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland

Author: William Ian Miller

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226526829

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 415

View: 6856

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Dubbed by the New York Times as "one of the most sought-after legal academics in the county," William Ian Miller presents the arcane worlds of the Old Norse studies in a way sure to attract the interest of a wide range of readers. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking delves beneath the chaos and brutality of the Norse world to discover a complex interplay of ordering and disordering impulses. Miller's unique and engaging readings of ancient Iceland's sagas and extensive legal code reconstruct and illuminate the society that produced them. People in the saga world negotiated a maze of violent possibility, with strategies that frequently put life and limb in the balance. But there was a paradox in striking the balance—one could not get even without going one better. Miller shows how blood vengeance, law, and peacemaking were inextricably bound together in the feuding process. This book offers fascinating insights into the politics of a stateless society, its methods of social control, and the role that a uniquely sophisticated and self-conscious law played in the construction of Icelandic society. "Illuminating."—Rory McTurk, Times Literary Supplement "An impressive achievement in ethnohistory; it is an amalgam of historical research with legal and anthropological interpretation. What is more, and rarer, is that it is a pleasure to read due to the inclusion of narrative case material from the sagas themselves."—Dan Bauer, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

Egil's Saga

Author: N.A

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780140443219

Category: Sagas

Page: 254

View: 5305

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The saga deals with the Viking world in the ninth and tenth centuries and has as its hero Eric Skallagrimsson, a powerful man who is much under the influence of the many-faced god, Odin

The Return of the Dead

Ghosts, Ancestors, and the Transparent Veil of the Pagan Mind

Author: Claude Lecouteux

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1594776830

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 288

View: 3040

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How the ghost stories of pagan times reveal the seamless union existing between the world of the living and the afterlife • Demonstrates how Medieval Christianity transformed the more corporeal ghost encountered in pagan cultures with the disembodied form known today • Explains how the returning dead were once viewed as either troublemakers or guarantors of the social order The impermeable border the modern world sees existing between the world of the living and the afterlife was not visible to our ancestors. The dead could--and did--cross back and forth at will. The pagan mind had no fear of death, but some of the dead were definitely to be dreaded: those who failed to go peacefully into the afterlife but remained on this side in order to right a wrong that had befallen them personally or to ensure that the law promoted by the ancestors was being respected. But these dead individuals were a far cry from the amorphous ectoplasm that is featured in modern ghost stories. These earlier visitors from beyond the grave--known as revenants--slept, ate, and fought like men, even when, like Klaufi of the Svarfdaela Saga, they carried their heads in their arms. Revenants were part of the ancestor worship prevalent in the pagan world and still practiced in indigenous cultures such as the Fang and Kota of equatorial Africa, among others. The Church, eager to supplant this familial faith with its own, engineered the transformation of the corporeal revenant into the disembodied ghost of modern times, which could then be easily discounted as a figment of the imagination or the work of the devil. The sanctified grounds of the church cemetery replaced the burial mounds on the family farm, where the ancestors remained as an integral part of the living community. This exile to the formal graveyard, ironically enough, has contributed to the great loss of the sacred that characterizes the modern world.

The Oxford History of English

Author: Lynda Mugglestone

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199660166

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 600

View: 8743

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Lynda Mugglestone's hugely popular The Oxford History of English is republished in a reset and revised edition featuring David Crystal's new take on the future of English. With impeccable and approachable scholarship, it describes the changing sounds, words, and meanings of English. A book for everyone interested in the language.

Orkneyinga Saga

The History of the Earls of Orkney

Author: Hermann Pálsson,Paul Geoffrey Edwards

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9780140443837

Category: History

Page: 251

View: 6980

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A Norse saga recounts the conquest of the northern Scottish isles by the Viking kings of Norway during the ninth century

The Great Weaver From Kashmir

Author: Halldor Laxness

Publisher: Archipelago

ISBN: 0981987362

Category: Fiction

Page: 450

View: 4746

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The Great Weaver from Kashmir is Nobel Prize winner Halldór Laxness’ first major novel, the book that propelled Icelandic literature into the modern world. Shortly after World War One, Steinn Elliði, a young philosopher-poet dandy, leaves the physical and cultural confines of Iceland’s shores for mainland Europe, seeking to become "the most perfect man on earth." His journey leads us through a huge range of moral, philosophical, religious, political, and social realms, from hedonism to socialism to aestheticism to Benedictine monasticism, exploring, as Laxness puts it, "the far-ranging variety in the life of a soul, with the swings on a pendulum oscillating between angel and devil." Upon his return to Iceland, Steinn finds himself more conflicted than before, torn between love of the beauty and traditions of his homeland, longing and regret for his great adolescent love, Diljá, and his newfound monastic ideal, forcing him to make choices with fateful consequences. The Great Weaver from Kashmir is as much a domestic parlor drama as it is a novel of ideas; it can be seen as the downward spiral of an antihero or an exploration of idealism and loss; it is at once an inward-looking and daring early novel and a modern epic spun by a superior craftsman. Published when Laxness was only twenty-five years old, The Great Weaver from Kashmir’s radical experimentation created a stir in Iceland. Appearing in English now for the first time, The Great Weaver is much more than a first major work by a literary master—it is a remarkable modernist classic written literally on the cultural and geographical fringes of modern Europe.

Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature

Negotiations of National Identity

Author: Larissa Tracy

Publisher: DS Brewer

ISBN: 1843842882

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 326

View: 714

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A new look at the way in which medieval European literature depicts torture and brutality.

A History of Old English Literature

Author: Robert D. Fulk,Christopher M. Cain

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118441125

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 504

View: 8552

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This revised edition of A History of Old English Literature draws extensively on the latest scholarship to have evolved over the last decade. The text incorporates additional material throughout, including two new chapters on Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and incidental and marginal texts. This revised edition responds to the renewed historicism in medieval studies Provides wide-ranging coverage, including Anglo-Latin literature as well as non-canonical writings Includes new chapters on manuscripts and on marginal and incidental texts Incorporates expanded coverage of legal texts and scientific and scholastic texts, now treated in separate chapters Demonstrates that the field of Anglo-Saxon studies is uniquely placed to contribute to current literary debates

The Sagas of the Icelanders

Author: Jane Smilely

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141933267

Category: Fiction

Page: 348

View: 8319

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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.

Penguin Classics

A Complete Annotated Listing

Author: Anonymous

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101578149

Category: Reference

Page: 384

View: 9465

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A Complete Annotated Listing More than 1,500 titles in print Authoritative introductions and notes by leading academics and contemporary authors Up-to-date translations from award-winning translators Readers guides and other resources available online Penguin Classics on air online radio programs

The Adventures of Robin Hood

Author: Roger Lancelyn Green

Publisher: Puffin Books

ISBN: 0147517176

Category: Folklore

Page: 336

View: 6501

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Recounts the life and adventures of Robin Hood, who, with his band of followers, lived as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest dedicated to fighting tyranny.

The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok

Author: N.A

Publisher: Lulu.com

ISBN: 0578021382

Category: Fiction

Page: 150

View: 9885

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Although based on historical persons from the 9th century, Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons are the subjects of compelling legends dating from the Viking era. Warriors, raiders, and rulers, Ragnar and his sons inspired unknown writers to set down their stories over seven centuries ago. This volume presents new and original translations of the three major Old Norse texts that tell Ragnar's story: the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, the Tale of Ragnar's Sons, and the Sogubrot. Ragnar's death song, the Krakumal, and a Latin fragment called the List of Swedish Kings, complete the story. Extensive notes and commentary are provided, helping the reader to enter the world of these timeless stories of Viking adventure.

Heads Will Roll

Decapitation in the Medieval and Early Modern Imagination

Author: Larissa Tracy,Jeff Massey

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004211551

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 2620

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Capitalizing upon the enduring fascination with decapitation in European culture, this collection examines--through a variety of critical lenses--the recurring "roles/rolls" of severed human heads in the medieval and early modern imagination.

King Harald's Saga

Author: Snorri Sturluson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141915072

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 6791

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This compelling Icelandic history describes the life of King Harald Hardradi, from his battles across Europe and Russia to his final assault on England in 1066, less than three weeks before the invasion of William the Conqueror. It was a battle that led to his death and marked the end of an era in which Europe had been dominated by the threat of Scandinavian forces. Despite England's triumph, it also played a crucial part in fatally weakening the English army immediately prior to the Norman Conquest, changing the course of history. Taken from the Heimskringla - Snorri Sturluson's complete account of Norway from prehistoric times to 1177 - this is a brilliantly human depiction of the turbulent life and savage death of the last great Norse warrior-king.