Women in Old Norse Literature: Bodies, Words, and Power

Hardcover | March 13, 2013

byJóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, Jã³hanna Katrã­n Friã°riksdã³ttir

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Old Norse texts offer many different ideas about what it is to be female, presenting women who occupy diverse social and economic positions or who have varying racial origins. Covering a much wider range of texts than have previous studies, this book presents a comprehensive and ground-breaking analysis of women in Old Norse literature. Raising new, probing questions, generated by theoretical insights from comparative studies, and from feminist, queer, monster and speech act theory, Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir explores the many ways in which medieval Icelandic sagas construct the relationship between women and power. Illuminating the preoccupations, desires, and anxieties of the sagas' authors and audiences, this book offers excitingly fresh perspectives on how Icelandic prose genres mediate medieval attitudes to women, power, social organization, and ideal human behavior.

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Old Norse texts offer many different ideas about what it is to be female, presenting women who occupy diverse social and economic positions or who have varying racial origins. Covering a much wider range of texts than have previous studies, this book presents a comprehensive and ground-breaking analysis of women in Old Norse literature...

Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Iceland. She has published several articles on Old Norse-Icelandic prose and poetry.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:March 13, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120423

ISBN - 13:9780230120426

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction
1: Women Speaking
2: Women and Magic
3: Monstrous Women
4: Royal and Aristocratic Women
5: The Female Ruler
Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Fridriksdóttir is to be thanked for offering saga narratives not solely as engines of social control nor simply as exercises in imaginative empowerment, but rather as open, unpredictable worlds, created by their authors not so much to pursue a predetermined agenda as to entertain and excite reflection on the part of their audiences . . . Women in Old Norse Literature: Bodies, Words, and Power promises valuable future work on the implications of these sagas for understanding this society in greater depth, especially in how the various roles of both men and women were imagined in the evolving tension between traditional Norse forms of thought and feeling and the 'dominant paradigms' of medieval Christian culture." - The Medieval Review