Hermann Pálsson, Paul Edwards. Introduction

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  • Author: Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards
  • Title: Introduction
  • Published in: Egil’s Saga. Transl. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards
  • Place, Publisher: Great Britain: Penguin,
  • Year: 1976
  • Pages: 7-17
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards. "Introduction." Egil’s Saga, pp. 7-17. Transl. Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards. Great Britain: Penguin, 1976.

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Contents

Annotation

In the introduction of their translation of Egil’s Saga, the authors discuss several topics, such as the complexity and uniqueness of Egil’s character who was a viking who used to drink often, but also a farmer, poet, murderer, lawyer etc. This saga, they claim, is one of the five main sagas that describe the early Icelanders. It is anonymous but might have been composed by Snorri Sturluson. The saga gives a wide panorama of the viking world through narratives all over Europe (Norway, Sweden, Finland, England and Iceland). The authors compare the characters of Thorolf Kveldulfson and Thorolf Skallagrimsson (fair, handsome and kind) who joined the Norwegian king, but who died young in a violent way, to the characters of Skallagrim and Egil who were ugly and dark-skin and were against the king, but who survived and died old. According to the authors, the three main poems of Egil are: Lament of my sons, The Head Ransom and In Praise of Arinbjon, the poems which helped Egil to deal with his feelings. The introduction stresses the complex and odd family relationships in the saga which cause repeated hostility between the families and the king through generations. Finally, the authors describe the relationship between the saga and the history of Iceland.

Lýsing

Í inngangi að þýðingu sinni á Egils sögu fjalla höfundarnir um nokkur efni, þar á meðal flókna og sérstaka persónu Egils sem var drykkfeldur víkingur en um leið bóndi, skáld, morðingi, vel að sér í lögum o.fl.. Sagan er ein af fimm helstu Íslendingasögunum, samkvæmt þeirra mati. Það er ekki vitað hver skrifaði hana en höfundarnir segja að hún gæti hafa verið samin af Snorra Sturlusyni. Þeir halda því fram að saga Íslands fléttist saman við sögu Evrópu, enda ferðast persónur m.a. milli Noregs, Svíþjóðar, Finnlands, Bretlands og Íslands. Höfundarnir bera persónur þeirra Þórólfs Kveld-Úlfssonar og Þórólfs Skalla-Grímssonar (þeir voru ljósir yfirlitum, fallegir og góðir), sem gengu í þjónustu Noregskonungs en dóu ungir, saman við persónur þeirra Skalla-Gríms Kveld-Úlfssonar og Egils Skalla-Grímssonar, sem voru ljótir og dökkir yfirlitum og settu sig upp á móti Noregskonungi en þeir lifðu af og dóu gamlir. Samkvæmt Hermanni og Edwards eru þrjú aðalkvæði Egils: Sonatorrek, Höfuðlausn og Arinbjarnarkviða. Öll kvæðin hjálpa Agli að takast á við tilfinningar sínar. Inngangurinn útskýrir einnig ýmis flókin og skrítin fjölskyldusambönd í sögunni sem valda fjandskap milli konungs og fjölskyldu Egils í hverri kynslóð á fætur annarri. Í lokin fjalla höfundarnir um sambandið milli Egils sögu og Íslandssögunnar.


See also

References

Chapter 31: Míms vinur: "In Egil's greatest poem 'Lament for My Sons' […] he speaks of the double-face of his god. As rune-master and lord of poetry, Odin has given Egil the power of words; as lord of poetry, Odin has taken away his two sons. Yet it is the gift of poetry which makes the loss bearable, giving Egil the power to cope with his suffering by expressing it" (p.11).

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