Clunies Ross, Margaret. The Skald Sagas as a Genre

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  • Author: Clunies Ross, Margaret
  • Title: The Skald Sagas as a Genre: Definitions and Typical Features
  • Published in: Skaldsagas. Text, Vocation and Desire in the Icelandic Sagas of Poets
  • Editor: Russell Poole
  • Place, Publisher: Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter
  • Year: 2001
  • Pages: 25-49
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Clunies Ross, Margaret. "The Skald Sagas as a Genre: Definitions and Typical Features." Skaldsagas. Text, Vocation and Desire in the Icelandic Sagas of Poets, pp. 25-49. Ed. Russell Poole. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2001.

  • Key words: literary elements, genre, poetry (bókmenntaleg einkenni, bókmenntagreinar, kveðskapur)


Contents

Annotation

Clunies-Ross focuses on the concepts along with the textual and literary characteristics which scholars have used to define “skalds’ sagas” as a literary genre. According to her four sagas (Kormáks saga, Hallfreðar saga, Bjarnar saga Hítdælakappa and Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu) form the core of this subcategory of Icelandic sagas. Althought the structure and motifs of Egils saga are similar to the aforementioned sagas, the motifs are used in some other ways too and the saga contains also a considerable amount of other kinds of content. Clunies Ross focuses on the skald’s character and inner life as a protagonist in all these five skalds’ sagas and thinks, based on her reading, that the creativity of these skalds gave to their lives both purpose and satisfaction, but lead also to their misfortune. Egill Skallagrímsson is no exception in this matter.

Lýsing

Clunies Ross fjallar um hugtökin ásamt þeim efnislegu og bókmenntalegu einkennum sem fræðimenn hafa notað til að skilgreina „skáldasögur“ sem bókmenntagrein. Samkvæmt henni mynda fjórar sögur (Kormáks saga, Hallfreðar saga, Bjarnar saga Hítdælakappa og Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu) kjarna þessa flokks Íslendingasagna. Þó að uppbygging og minni Egils sögu séu svipuð og í áðurnefndum sögum, er unnið með þessi minni með nokkuð öðrum hætti og sagan inniheldur einnig töluvert mikið af annars konar efni. Clunies Ross fjallar um eðli og innra líf skáldsins sem aðalpersónu í öllum þessum fimm skáldasögum og heldur því fram að sköpunargáfa þessara skálda gefi lífi þeirra bæði tilgang og ánægju en valdi líka ógæfu þeirra. Egill Skallagrímsson en engin undantekning í þessu efni.

See also

References

Chapter 56: fel eg sjaldan: “Love and sexual passion are only weakly represented in [Egill’s] repertoire, however, and in that respect one may say that one of the main defining characteristics of the skald saga is vestigial here” (p. 38).

Chapter 80: að yrkja kvæðið: “[T]he composer of Egils saga adopts a stronger interest in the poet’s production of verse in a personalised context than in his composition of court poetry for foreign rulers” (p. 37).

Links

  • Written by: Charles Anthony Gittins
  • English translation: Barbora Davídková
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