The Genesis of a Saga Narrative: Verse and Prose in Kormaks Saga

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byHeather ODonoghue

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The origins of many of the Icelandic sagas have long been the subject of critical speculation and controversy. This book demonstrates that an investigation of the relationship between verse and prose in saga narrative can be used to reconstruct how Icelandic sagas were composed; to this endit provides a detailed analysis of Kormaks saga, whose hero Kormakr is one of the most celebrated of Icelandic poets. Over sixty of his passionate, cryptic skaldic stanzas are quoted in the saga, and the way they and the saga prose are fitted together reveals that Kormaks saga, far from being aseamless narrative of either pre-Christian oral tradition or later medieval fiction, is in fact a patchwork of different kinds of literary materials. This book offers an original and productive way of understanding not only the compositional method and distinctive aesthetic qualities of Kormakssaga, but also the genesis of many other Icelandic saga narratives.

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The origins of many of the Icelandic sagas have long been the subject of critical speculation and controversy. This book demonstrates that an investigation of the relationship between verse and prose in saga narrative can be used to reconstruct how Icelandic sagas were composed; to this endit provides a detailed analysis of Kormaks sa...

Heather O'Donoghue is at Somerville College, Oxford.

other books by Heather ODonoghue

Skaldic Verse And The Poetics Of Saga Narrative
Skaldic Verse And The Poetics Of Saga Narrative

Hardcover|Aug 15 2005

$228.72 online$315.00list price(save 27%)
Format:HardcoverPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198117833

ISBN - 13:9780198117834

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'the author's case is sensible and convincing and a distinctive contribution to our understanding of sage composition'Russell Poole, Massey University, Review of English Studies, Vol. 44, No. 176, November 1993