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Narrative in the Icelandic Sagas: Meanings of Time in Old Norse Literature

Narrative in the Icelandic Sagas: Meanings of Time in Old Norse Literature
Heather O'Donoghue

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The Icelandic Sagas rank among the greatest works of world literature. Representative of a unique literary genre, and composed in the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries, they tell of earlier people and of events which supposedly took place in Iceland in the period between its settlement in 870 and conversion to Christianity in the year 1000. Often called the `family sagas' - and from which the giants, dragons and magic of the Eddas are conspicuous by their absence - they reflect a real-world society in transition, grappling with major new challenges of identity and development. Heather O'Donoghue examines the singular textual voice of the Sagas while also exploring their important underlying ideas about the passage of time. Deploying modern narrative theory, especially that of Paul Ricoeur (as well as perspectives from St Augustine), she brings fresh and lively insights to what are arguably the most important foundation documents of the Old Norse and medieval Icelandic heritage. Her book is an essential discussion of the luminous transmitted oral tradition of a migratory people and of an iconic canon of Western culture.

Author Info

Heather O'Donoghue is Professor of Old Norse in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Linacre College, Oxford. One of the foremost authorities on Old Norse literature and culture, her previous books include The Genesis of a Saga Narrative: Verse and Prose in Kormaks Saga (1991); Old Norse Icelandic Literature: A Short Introduction (2004); Skaldic Verse and the Poetics of Saga Narrative (2005); From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths (I.B.Tauris, 2007, paperback 2008); and English Poetry and Old Norse Myth: A History (2014). She has also broadcast with the BBC on the topic of the Norse Gods.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781788312875
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2019
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 16 black and white illustrations and 1 map

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