By Daisy Neijmann

A background of Icelandic Literature offers an entire assessment of the literature of Iceland, from the country's cost within the 9th century until eventually the current day, together with chapters on lesser-known parts reminiscent of drama, kid's literature, women's literature, and North American Icelandic literature. it's the first paintings to provide non-Icelandic readers a wide-ranging creation to Iceland's literature and every contributor to this quantity is a well-known specialist in his or her area.Despite its peripheral geographical place and small inhabitants, Iceland produced essentially the most striking literary treasures of the center a long time, really sagas and Eddic poetry. those medieval works have encouraged poets and writers around the centuries, who in flip have encouraged the Icelandic humans in the course of the country’s lengthy background of hardships and as much as its extra prosperous current. This quantity extends wisdom of Icelandic literature outdoor the rustic and encourages its inclusion in comparative stories of literatures throughout nationwide and linguistic barriers. (20071001)

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Extra info for A History of Icelandic Literature (Histories of Scandinavian Literature)

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At the same time the poet often plays consciously on the connotations—not least the sexual connotations—of the individual elements of his kennings and succeeds in conveying a complex message. The poem tells the story of Thor’s journey to the giant Geirrö®, a myth with many components that has been interpreted as the young god’s initiation ordeal. In addition to the main conflict with the giant, the poem exhibits a great preoccupation with female forces. Because ‘‘ªórsdrápa’’ has a comic touch, the suggestion has been made that it is a parody, but there are no convincing arguments for this theory.

It is tempting, however, to see the poem, or the myth behind it, as connected with some kind of cathartic ritual. The Menippean satires might be a parallel rather than a model. In many heroic poems a senna, or flyting, belongs to the preparatory stages of a battle, and many of the accusations made by Loki point toward Ragnarök, where he is on the side of the forces who, at terrible cost to the gods, su√er defeat. The mythological lays, with their abundance of names of places and phenomena in the worlds of gods and men, provide a poetic topography of the mythical universe.

In our sources, but there is no doubt that their cult was strong in many areas of Scandinavia. Foremost among them are the sea god Njör®ur and his children Freyr, the god of fertility, and Freyja, the goddess of love, war, and magic. ‘‘Skírnismál’’ tells how Freyr fell in love with a giant maiden who refused both o√ers of gold and threats of violence but was at last won over by the curses and threats that magic would be used against her. At the end of the poem Freyr is impatiently awaiting his union with the maiden, which is to take place in a grove named Barri.

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