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- Eddic, Skaldic, and Beyond
Eddic, Skaldic, and Beyond shines light on traditional divisions of Old Norse–Icelandic poetry and awakens the reader to work that blurs these boundaries. Many of the texts and topics taken up in these enlightening essays have been difficult to categorize and have consequently been overlooked or undervalued. The boundaries between genres (Eddic and Skaldic), periods (Viking Age, medieval, early modern), or cultures (Icelandic, Scandinavian, English, Continental) may not have been as sharp in the eyes and ears of contemporary authors and audiences as they are in our own. When questions of classification are allowed to fade into the background, at least temporarily, the poetry can be appreciated on its own terms. Some of the essays in this collection present new material, while others challenge long-held assumptions. They reflect the idea that poetry with “medieval” characteristics continued to be produced in Iceland well past the fifteenth century, and even beyond the Protestant Reformation in Iceland (1550). This superb volume, rich in up-to-date scholarship, makes little-known material accessible to a wide audience.
Martin Chase is Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Fordham University.
Russell Poole has published extensively on skaldic poetry and other topics in medieval literature. He is a Distinguished University Professor, emeritus, of the University of Western Ontario and an Honorary Research Fellow at Massey University. He has been elected to Fellowships of the Royal Society of Canada, the New Zealand Academy of Humanities, also to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is currently Editor- in- chief of Viking and Medieval Scandinavia.
Ingvil Brügger Budal
Ingvil Brügger Budal is Associate Professor of Norwegian at NLA University College. Her publications and research interests center on the riddarasögur and their genesis as Old Norse translations of Old French romances, both as a genre within the Old Norse literature and also in relation to their now lost sources. Her recent publications include “Who is “I”? Translation of riddarasögur as a collective per for mance,” in Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok 2011; and “Visible Stratifi cation in a Medieval Text: Traces of Multiple Redactors in a Text Extant in a Single Manuscript,” in Modes of Authorship in the Middle Ages (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2012).
Christopher Abram is Associate Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. His research spans many aspects of medieval Scandinavian and Anglo- Saxon literature and culture— particularly mythology, poetics, and the impact of Christianization. He is the author of Myths of the Pagan North: The Gods of the Norsemen (Continuum, 2011).
Mikael Males is Postdoctoral Fellow of Old Norse Philology at the University of Oslo. His main field of research is Old Icelandic grammatica, with focus on the study of poetry and textual interpretation. His recent publications include “Egill och Kormákr— tradering och nydiktning” (Maal og Minne 2011), an exploration of the methods used for secondary composition in the name of the early skalds in the sagas, and in “Allegory in Old Norse Secular Literature: Methodological Challenges” (forthcoming in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia 9), he discusses how the concept of allegorical interpretation may need to be modified to arrive at readings that are contextually plausible for the medieval, Icelandic setting.
Rolf Stavnem is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Aesthetics and Communication at the University of Aarhus and teaches courses on Old Norse literature and its modern reception. His research interests are currently the implications of skaldic verse in saga narratives as well as the potential of skaldic poetry as a source for historical study of the Viking Age. He edited Rekstefja for the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages series, and is currently preparing an edition of the verses in Hávardar Saga Ísfirdings for the same series. He is co- author, with Kim Lembek, of the new Danish translation of the complete Snorris Edda (Gyldendal, 2013) and has received funding for a Danish translation of the Poetic Edda.
Kevin J. Wanner
Kevin Wanner is Associate Professor of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University. His research is concerned with the particular the ways in which the material that we have available for the study of Old Norse myth has been mediated through poetry and derivative prose works, and how the interests and perspectives of these texts’ producers and consumers have shaped the form and content of the mythic material. He has published on these and related topics in History of Religions, Speculum, Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, Saga- Book, JEGP, and Scandinavian Studies. He is the author of Snorri Sturluson and the Edda: The Conversion of Cultural Capital in Medieval Scandinavia (University of Toronto Press, 2008).
Rory McTurk is Professor Emeritus of Icelandic Studies at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Studies in Ragnars saga lodbrókar and its Major Scandinavian Analogues (1991) and Chaucer and the Norse and Celtic Worlds (2005), is the editor of the Blackwell Companion to Old Norse- Icelandic Literature and Culture (2005), and has translated Kormáks saga for the Penguin Sagas of Warrior- Poets (2002). He is currently preparing an edition of Old Norse poetry related to Ragnars saga for the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages series.
Hannah Burrows is a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of English Studies, Durham University, and an Honorary Associate of the Medieval and Early Modern Centre, University of Sydney. She is currently writing a monograph on the Old Norse- Icelandic riddles, to be published by Brill. She has edited the poetry from Hervarar saga ok Heidreks as well as three anonymous riddles for the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages series, for which she is also Bibliographic Editor.
Martin Chase is Associate Professor of English and Medieval Studies at Fordham University, where he teaches Old and Middle English and Old Norse. His current research is on late- medieval Icelandic devotional poetry. He edited Geisli and Lilja for the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages series.
Paul Acker is Professor of Old English and Old Norse at Saint Louis University. He recently co- edited, with Carolyne Larrington, Revisiting the Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Heroic Legend (Routledge, 2013).
Shaun F. D. Hughes
Shaun F. D. Hughes is Professor of English at Purdue University– West Lafayette. He is currently Director of English Language and Linguistics in the Department of English and Director of Medieval and Renaissance Studies in the College of Liberal Arts, where he also serves on the Steering Committee for the Program in Comparative Literature. Among his recent publications are review essays on The Fall of Arthur, The Vikings on Film, and The Arthur of the North in Arthuriana (2013/2012); “Postcolonial Plagiarisms: Yambo Ouologuem, Calixthe Beyala, and Witi Ihimaera” in Forum for World Literature Studies (2011); and “Klári saga as an Indigenous Romance” in Romance and Love in Medieval Iceland (Cornell, 2009).
"This volume, which brings together studies by eleven scholars, represents a major contribution to the study of Old Norse-Icelandic poetry, not least by following its subject well beyond the end of the middle ages proper. Any other approach, as editor Martin Chase argues in his introduction, fails to appreciate the continuity to Old Norse-Icelandic literary history over a far longer period of time, a continuity due in part to the persistence of manuscript culture in Iceland long after the introduction of print. The essays thus address topics ranging from some of the earliest poetic works extant, such as Merlínússpá, to some of latest, such as ballads and rímur (metrical romances). While many of these topics will be familiar to students of Old Norse-Icelandic – Snorri Sturluson and his Edda, for example – others, such as editor Martin Chase’s own excellent contribution on Icelandic devotional poetry of the 15th and 16th century, have hitherto received little or no scholarly attention."—M. J. Driscoll, Arnamagnæan Institute, University of Copenhagen
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