Bell, L. Michael. Oral Allusion in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar

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  • Author: Bell, L. Michael
  • Title: Oral Allusion in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar: A Computer-Aided Approach
  • Published in: Arkiv för nordisk filologi 91
  • Year: 1976
  • Pages: 51-65
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Bell, L. Michael. "Oral Allusion in Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar: A Computer-Aided Approach." Arkiv för nordisk filologi 91 (1976): 51-65.

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Michael L. Bell uses a computer-generated concordance to collect all the references to oral tradition in Egils saga. He bases their identification on the methods developed by Theodore M. Andersson ("The Textual Evidence for an Oral Family Saga", 1966). The concordance excludes the 104 commonest words used in the saga (ok, er, hann), but aims at allowing scholars to consult every occurrence of terms that allude to orality within their complete lexical context. Unlike Theodore M. Andersson, Michael L. Bell includes references to other old Icelandic texts and cross-references in his concordance. Thus, the textual corpus covered by the concordance is smaller, but its lexical scope is broader. In order to organize his concordance, Michael L. Bell classifies oral allusions according to function - cross-references, allusions to other sagas, references to conflicts, references to the supernatural - and lexical features - characteristic headwords and characteristic terms that appear in the body of the allusion.


Texta vantar

See also


Chapter 80: konungar þóttust eiga við hann: "The entire passage appears to be an attempt to tidy up some loose ends, parts of the Egill-tradition about which an audience might expect the narrator to have details, and which he takes special care to point out that he does not have." (pp. 53-54)

Chapter 40: sem fyrr var sagt: "Citation (13) [i.e. sem fyrr var sagt] is part of a transition so elegantly accomplished by the narrator that it deserves separate and extensive treatment as a hallmark of narrative art. However, since such treatment would be tangential to our present topic, we will only note here that this allusion marks the end of a flashback or time-jump which the narrator has used to squeeze young Egill into the mainstream of the narrative; its function is to smooth the narrative’s return to the point in time and space at which the time-jump began." (p. 55)


  • Written by: Ermenegilda Müller
  • Icelandic/English translation:
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