Andersson, Theodore. From News to Narrative: Escape Tales in Medieval Iceland

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  • Author: Andersson, Theodore
  • Title: From News to Narrative: Escape Tales in Medieval Iceland
  • Published in: Scandinavian Studies 86/4
  • Year: 2014
  • Pages: 379-97
  • E-text: ProQuest
  • Reference: MLA

  • Key words:



Andersson argues that the creation of fascinating heroic tales in medieval Iceland was often inspired by news arriving from abroad during the summer, while many newsworthy events were left susceptible to distortion and confabulation. He expands upon the protagonists’ stories from Gísla saga, Grettis saga, Morkinskinna, Heimskringla, Egils saga, Heiðarvíga saga, and Njáls saga. The article explores sagas which have plotlines involving deception and/or strength to escape from enemies and imminent death. The narratives are often riddled with ‘an odd combination of coded history, legend, and fiction’. Andersson identifies three kinds of deception-escape tactics portrayed in the sagas and critically examines overlaps of eluding stratagems which protagonists across the sagas utilize to outwit their pursuers.


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  • Written by: Pablo Hulsz
  • Icelandic/English translation:
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