Heslop, K. S.. Sonatorrek and the Myth of Skaldic Lyric

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  • Author: Heslop, K. S.
  • Title: Gab mir ein Gott zu sagen, was ich leide’: Sonatorrek and the myth of skaldic lyric
  • Published in: Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society. Proceedings of the 11th International Saga Conference 2-7 July 2000
  • Editors: Geraldine Barnes, Margaret Clunies Ross.
  • Place, Publisher: Sydney: Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sydney
  • Year: 2000
  • Pages: 152-64
  • E-text: sagaconference.org
  • Reference: Heslop, K. S. "‘Gab mir ein Gott zu sagen, was ich leide’: Sonatorrek and the myth of skaldic lyric." Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society. Proceedings of the 11th International Saga Conference 2-7 July 2000, pp. 152-64. Eds. Geraldine Barnes, Margaret Clunies Ross. University of Sydney. Sydney: Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Sydney, 2000.

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Contents

Annotation

Kate S. Heslop addresses the reception of Sonatorrek in literary scholarship. According to her, early twentieth-century scholarship saw skaldic poetry through the prism of its own literary esthetics. Romanticism associates the quality of lyric literary forms to their capacity to convey personal emotions, whereas Old Icelandic literary genres don't always put the emphasis on this aspect. Moreover, Classical studies have developed a discourse on the evolution of literature where lyric evolves from the epic, skaldic poetry has been defined as producing a premature, imperfect form of lyricism, whose poetic expressivity is smothered by mannerism. This perception of skaldic poetry caused Sonatorrek to be seen as a revolutionary work, that introduced the subjective point of view and the expression of personal emotions in Old Icelandic literature. The poem would thus have a major literary, but also cultural significance, and mark the first onset of the notion of individuality in Old-Norse-Icelandic mentalities. This reading of Sonatorrek is prominent in literary scholarship, and has established the status of the poem as a canonic, but unparalleled example of lyric expression in skaldic poetry. Kate S. Heslop that lyric self-expression can be addressed in other poems by assessing their rhetorical function using the concept of performativity.

Lýsing

Texta vantar


See also

References

Chapter 80: upphaf kvæðis: "The formative pressures on the canon of skaldic poetry are exerted by the centrality of the concept of lyric to several disparate cultural endeavours. One (...) is the historicist attempt to map an evolution of consciousness in Western cultures using changes in literary forms. Another is a Romantic commitment to a poetic of subjective expression: by reading Sonatorrek, we can see into Egill's soul. Lyric poems are also, of course, the preferred raw material for the modus operandi of close reading leading to 'literary appreciation' promulgated by the major literary critical movement of the mid-twentieth century, the New Criticism. (...) Sonatorrek 's status as the canonical 'classic' of the skaldic lyric, then, seems secures enough." (p. 158)

Links

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