Reuschel, Helga. The "children's judgment" in the Njala and Gunnlaugssaga

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  • Author: Reuschel, Helga
  • Title: The "children's judgment" in the "Njala" and "Gunnlaugssaga Ormstungu”
  • Published in: Studies in language and literature in honour of Margaret Schlauch
  • Editors: Mieczysław Brahmer, Stanisław Helsztyński, Julian Krzyzanowsk
  • Place, Publisher: Warszawa: PWN – Polish Scientific Publishers
  • Year: 1966
  • Pages: 327-333
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Reuschel, Helga. “The "children's judgment" in the "Njala" and "Gunnlaugssaga Ormstungu”.” Studies in language and literature in honour of Margaret Schlauch, edited by Mieczysław Brahmer, Stanisław Helsztyński and Julian Krzyzanowski, 327-333. Warszawa: PWN – Polish Scientific Publishers, 1966.

  • Key words: motifs, social reality, textual relations, sagnaminni, samfélagsmynd, rittengsl


Contents

Annotation

In Gunnlaugs saga Ormstungu, men remind Gunnlaug of the behaviour society is expecting of him by simulating a duel where the opponents take his and his adversary’s name in his presence. Reuschel argues that this passage is inspired by a motif found in Njáls saga and in a Jutland-folktale, which she calls the ‘children’s judgment scene’. In Njals saga, this is displayed as children playing Hrut’s sensitive conjugal situation when he is visiting a farm. The common pattern is the problematic situation in which children’s (or men’s) role-playing provides a solution, or at least a commentary. Reuschel then observes the different roles this scene has in each story, and concludes that the author of Gunnlaugs saga was inspired by Njála. The last part of the article provides three other examples of interdependence between the two works.


Lýsing

Í Gunnlaugs sögu ormstungu minna menn Gunnlaug á kröfur samfélagsins með því að líkja eftir einvígi þar sem þátttakendurnir eru látnir heita eftir honum og andstæðingi hans. Reuschel færir rök fyrir því að þessi frásögn sé undir áhrifum frá sagnaminni í Njálu og í þjóðsögu frá Jótlandi sem hún kallar 'dóm barna'. Í Njálu kemur þetta fram þar sem Hrútur verður vitni að því á bæ einum, að smásveinar leika hjúskaparvandræði hans og þau málaferli sem hlutust af. Það er sameiginlegt þessum senum að hlutverkaleikir barna (eða manna) bjóða upp á lausn á viðkvæmum málum, eða viðra þau að minnsta kosti. Reuschel nefnir síðan að senurnar gegna ólíku hlutverki í sögunum og klykkir út með því að höfundur Gunnlaugs sögu hafi verið undir áhrifum frá Njálu. Í síðasta hluta greinarinnar eru tínd til þrjú önnur dæmi um tengsl sagnanna.

See also

References

Chapter 8: málgir mjög: “The Njála mentions explicitly that it is the children who judge, they are malgir (talkative) and ovitrir (unwise). Hrut […] has won some understanding he lacked before, and that is worth a goldring to him: It is perhaps the knowledge, that his conjugal behaviour has become a topic of public talk” (p. 329).

Links

  • Written by: Barbora Davídková
  • Icelandic translation: Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir
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