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The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180-1280)

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In this eagerly awaited book, Theodore M. Andersson, a leading scholar of the Norse sagas, 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 political and historical propositions. Beginning with the first full-len In this eagerly awaited book, Theodore M. Andersson, a leading scholar of the Norse sagas, 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 political and historical propositions. Beginning with the first full-length sagas and culminating in the acknowledged masterpiece Nj�ls saga, Andersson emphasizes a historical perspective, establishing a chronology for seventeen of the most important sagas and showing how they evolve thematically and stylistically over the century under study. He revisits the long-standing debate about the oral and literary components of the sagas by arguing that there is a clear progression from the somewhat mechanical gathering of oral lore in the early sagas to an increasingly tight and authorially controlled composition in the later sagas. The early sagas--including The Legendary Saga of Saint Olaf and Odd Snorrason's Saga of Olaf Tryggvason--focus on conspicuous individuals and their memorable deeds; later works are more apt to formulate the abstract problems and ideas that preoccupied their authors. As the authors begin to impose their views on the inherited narratives, the sagas become more and more critical and self-conscious, to the point where Nj�ls saga may be considered not only to approximate a novel in our sense of the term but also to comment on the saga form.


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In this eagerly awaited book, Theodore M. Andersson, a leading scholar of the Norse sagas, 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 political and historical propositions. Beginning with the first full-len In this eagerly awaited book, Theodore M. Andersson, a leading scholar of the Norse sagas, 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 political and historical propositions. Beginning with the first full-length sagas and culminating in the acknowledged masterpiece Nj�ls saga, Andersson emphasizes a historical perspective, establishing a chronology for seventeen of the most important sagas and showing how they evolve thematically and stylistically over the century under study. He revisits the long-standing debate about the oral and literary components of the sagas by arguing that there is a clear progression from the somewhat mechanical gathering of oral lore in the early sagas to an increasingly tight and authorially controlled composition in the later sagas. The early sagas--including The Legendary Saga of Saint Olaf and Odd Snorrason's Saga of Olaf Tryggvason--focus on conspicuous individuals and their memorable deeds; later works are more apt to formulate the abstract problems and ideas that preoccupied their authors. As the authors begin to impose their views on the inherited narratives, the sagas become more and more critical and self-conscious, to the point where Nj�ls saga may be considered not only to approximate a novel in our sense of the term but also to comment on the saga form.

32 review for The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180-1280)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Useful overview of the development of the Medieval Icelandic sagas, not too relevant for my own research but was interesting - I did however think that the first half of the book was quite a dry read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alatea

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  4. 5 out of 5

    Abby Monk

  5. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Gierke

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  9. 5 out of 5

    Edward

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bibliowulf

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nika Maglaperidze

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wikimedia Italia

  13. 5 out of 5

    Neil

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rick Davis

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trampas Jones

  16. 4 out of 5

    Volsung

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bjarni Gunnar

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kundry

  19. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sara Ann

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andreli Zanirato

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Ann B Chambers

  25. 5 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  26. 5 out of 5

    Poppy Tester

  27. 4 out of 5

    Myroslava Engeset

  28. 4 out of 5

    Clara

  29. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katja Jonsson

  31. 5 out of 5

    Vodkaquiet

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

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