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Bookish Riddarasogur: Writing Romance in Late Mediaeval Iceland

Bookish Riddarasogur: Writing Romance in Late Mediaeval Iceland (Hardback)

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Synopsis

This book deals with a fascinating but until recently largely neglected area of late medieval Icelandic literature: the indigenous prose romances, generally known as riddarasogur (lit. sagas of knights), a group of some 30 sagas composed in Iceland from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century onwards which take place in an exotic (non-Scandinavian), vaguely chivalric milieu and are characterized by the extensive use of foreign motifs and a strong supernatural or fabulous element. The author, Geraldine Barnes, former Professor of English Language and Early English Literature at the University of Sydney, has written extensively on the riddarasogur throughout her long career. This book represents the culmination of her work in this area and presents an interesting take' on the riddarasogur, focusing on their learned or bookish' elements.

Although the riddarasogur are clearly modelled on Continental chivalric romances and influenced by the translated' riddarasogur in terms of subject matter, style and ethos, that debt tends to be limited largely to the surface attributes of romance typically, princes on quests in exotic foreign lands which ultimately bring material rewards, noble brides and the acquisition of new kingdoms. Contrary to European chivalric romance, however, the Icelandic riddarasogur manifest a substantial debt to medieval encyclopedic and historiographical traditions. One effect of this is to bring an element of biculturalism' to the textual landscapes of the riddarasogur which suggests that their authors, and, by implication, their audiences, were familiar with both learned tradition and traditional lore and accustomed to moving back and forth between them in creative literary composition.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: classical, early & medieval Publisher: University Press of Southern Denmark Publication Date: 01/04/2014 ISBN-13: 9788776747916  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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