Bjarni Einarsson. On the rôle of verse in saga-literature
- Author: Bjarni Einarsson
- Title: On the rôle of verse in saga-literature
- Published in: Medieval Scandinavia 7
- Year: 1974
- Pages: 118-25
- Reference: Bjarni Einarsson. "On the rôle of verse in saga-literature." Medieval Scandinavia 7 (1974): 118-25.
- Key words: textual relations, intertextuality, poetry (rittengsl, textatengsl, kveðskapur)
This article is a study of the role of verse in sagas, particularly regarding how to determine whether verse serves as evidence for a particular saga or whether it is purely part of the narrative. Bjarni Einarson argues that the latter is true for Egils saga, whereas at least two of the verse quotations from Njáls saga can be considered as aiming to represent a kind of confirmation of the veracity of the reported events
Greinin er rannsókn á hlutverki kvæða í fornsögum og því hvernig best sé að greina hvort þau séu heimild fyrir frásögninni í tiltekinni sögu eða einfaldlega hluti frásagnarinnar. Bjarni heldur því fram að í Eglu eigi hið síðarnefnda jafnan við. Hins vegar tekur hann tvö dæmi úr kvæðum Njáls sögu þar hið fyrrnefnda á við. Tilgangur kvæðanna virðist vera að styðja við sannleiksgildi frásagnarinnar.
Chapter 45: kvað Egill vísu: "On the whole there seems to be a marked qualitative difference between the rôle of verse in the Kings Sagas on the one hand and in the Sagas of the Icelanders (Family Sagas) on the other. In the former stanzas are mainly quoted as sources and may as a matter of course be treated as such by scholars. In the latter stanzas are included as a part of the story and are to be considered an integral part of the artistic fabric of the context." (p. 124).
Chapter 77: vísu þessi: "Not all Íslendingasögur (Family Sagas) have verse quotations, but those which have only rarely quote verse as evidence or confirmation. In the main verse quotation is here for the sake of entertainment only (…). In Njáls saga we have another exceptional case (…). In the latest version of the saga there are in all 24 instances of verse quotation, (…). Two of these instances seem intended as a kind of evidence or confirmation." (p. 122).
- Written by: Jane Appleton
- Icelandic translation: Jón Karl Helgason