McTurk, Rory W. The supernatural in Njáls saga

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  • Author: McTurk, Rory
  • Title: The Supernatural in Njáls saga: a narratological approach
  • Published in: Introductory Essays on Egils saga and Njáls saga
  • Editors: John Hines, Desmond Slay
  • Place, Publisher: London: Viking Society for Northern Research
  • Year: 1992
  • Pages: 102-124
  • E-text: Viking Society Web Publications
  • Reference: McTurk, Rory. "The Supernatural in Njáls saga: a narratological approach." Introductory Essays on Egils saga and Njáls saga, pp. 102-24. Eds. John Hines, Desmond Slay. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 1992.

  • Key words: narrative technique, supernatural elements, religion (frásagnaraðferð, yfirnáttúrleg fyrirbæri, trúarbrögð)


Contents

Annotation

McTurk applies a narratological approach to supernatural events that take place in Njáls saga which he divides into the following three groups: 1) prophecies that come true, 2) retrocognitive, telepathic, and precognitive intimations, dreams, and visions, 3) remarkable happenings for which no physical cause is apparent. The supernatural occurrences in Njáls saga are discussed by McTurk, by focusing on the different levels and degrees of narrative and focalization. He argues that those supernatural events in Njáls saga, which are narrated on the first level as well as focalized on the the first degree—i.e. accounts of supernatural events given by the anonymous narrator of the saga without referring to witnesses, which are therefore also described as objectivist statements,—are for the most part concerned with the Christianization in Iceland.

Lýsing

McTurk beitir frásagnafræðilegri nálgun á yfirnáttúrulega atburði í Njáls sögu sem hann skiptir í eftirfarandi þrjá flokka: 1) spádómar sem rætast, 2) fyrirboðar, draumar og sýnir, 3) merkilegar uppákomur sem engin náttúruleg skýring er á. McTurk skoðar yfirnáttúrulegu atvikin í Njáls sögu með hliðsjón af mismunandi stigum frásagnar og sjónbeiningar (focalization). Hann rökstyður að þeir yfirnáttúrulegu atburðir í Njáls sögu, sem eru bæði sagðir og sýndir á fyrsta stigi — en það merkir að hinn nafnlausi sögumaður segir frá atburðunum án þess að vísa til annarra vitna, og er því einnig kallað hlutlægar yfirlýsingar, — gerast, samkvæmt McTurk, að mestu leyti í tengslum við kristnitökuna á Íslandi.

See also

References

Chapter 081: Einhverja nótt dreymir hann: "While it is thus primarily diegetic, the passage of direct speech in which the dream-figure foretells Kolskeggr's future does provide it with a metadiegetic, or second-degree narrative, element, and the incident in fact follows the normal pattern of a supernatural prophecy in Njáls saga, with the difference that the prophecy's metadiegetic element here occurs as part of a dream, focalised in the second degree." (p. 117).  

Links

  • Written by: Romina Werth
  • Icelandic translation: Romina Werth
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