Lindow, John. Skald Sagas in their Literary Context

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  • Author: Lindow, John
  • Title: Skald Sagas in their Literary Context 1: Other Icelandic Genres
  • 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: 218-31
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Lindow, John. "Skald Sagas in their Literary Context 1: Other Icelandic Genres." Skaldsagas. Text, Vocation and Desire in the Icelandic Sagas of Poets, pp. 218–31. Ed. Russell Poole. Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2001.

  • Key words:

Icelander, travel, skald, poets


Contents

Annotation

This article is part one of a three-part discussion of skalds in their literary contexts. In it, Lindow describes two very basic plot patterns involving Icelandic poets. The first and more familiar is the feud pattern in which the skald becomes tangled in the conflicts we have to come to associate with the family sagas. The second pattern, which Lindow calls the “travel pattern,” involves an Icelandic poet traveling to the court of a king, usually to seek admittance to his entourage or to talk himself out of disfavor. A poet needed a royal audience and these sagas explore the relationship between skald and king. Egils Saga contains elements of the “travel pattern,” yet is one of the few sagas that breaks with the tradition and creates a more complex picture of the relationship in the “king and Icelander” pattern since Egil never joins the king, nor are the two ever fully reconciled.

Lýsing

Greinin er einn hluti af þrem í umfjöllun um skáld í bókmenntalegu samhengi. Í greininni fjallar John Lindow um tvær gerðir af frásögnum þar sem skáld koma við sögu. Sú fyrri er deilumynstrið, þar sem skáldið flækist í illdeilur sem eru einkennandi fyrir Íslendingasögur. Seinna mynstrið kallar Lindow ferðamynstrið, þar ferðast skáldið til að hitta konung, oftast í þeim tilgangi að gerast honum handgenginn eða koma sér úr ónáð. Lindow segir að skáld þurfi konunglega áheyrendur og að sögurnar fjalli um samband skálda og konunga. Egils saga inniheldur einkenni ferðamynsturs og þó er hún ein af fáum sögum sem brýtur sig frá hefðinni og dregur upp flóknari mynd af sambandi Íslendinga og konunga þ.e. Egill gerist ekki hirðmaður konungs og aldrei kemst á almennileg sátt milli þeirra tveggja.

See also

References

Chapter 61: Freista skal: “Egill’s travels to and encounters with royalty are of course even more disruptive of the pattern. The best example is doubtless the head-ransom episode in York. Instead of planning to visit the king, perhaps to present a drápa, Egill is driven to him by shipwreck and only composes the poem at the very last minute. Instead of being taken into the hirð, he is cast out of the land pardon-less, with his life alone as the reward for passing the implicit test.’” (p. 226)

Links

  • Written by: Zachary Melton
  • Icelandic translation: Andri M. Kristjánsson
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