Zip The Sagas of Icelanders Wow This book was a huge undertaking but it was completely worth the effort The stories are at once familiar and utterly foreign and so so fascinating It took me a w
Zip The Sagas of Icelanders Wow. This book was a huge undertaking, but it was completely worth the effort. The stories are at once familiar and utterly foreign, and so, so fascinating. It took me a while to fall into the patterns and rhythms of the sagas; they tend to wander, go down long tangents, circle back the long way, and then eventually present a central story of sorts. And that’s not to mention that about 80% of the characters – men and women – have names beginning with the prefix “Thor”. I’m not joking. Thorbjorg, Thorstein, Thorgerd, Thorgils, Thorbjorn, Thorarin, Thorfinn, Thorgeir. I wanted to throw things at some points; I literally had no idea who anybody was in some passages because I was incapable of keeping the names straight. So, these stories are definitely not without their frustrations, but I still highly recommend them if you are willing to invest some time and concentration. There were over a dozen sagas and tales in this collection (which also happens to have a gorgeous cover), but I’m going to highlight my favorite four here:Egil’s Saga:This is the longest of the sagas in this collection, and it is bursting with action thanks to the mercurial and ever-so-slightly sociopathic Egil. The title character gets his start at age seven when he puts an axe through another kid’s skull during a playground scuffle and incites a small blood-feud in the process. His father Skallagrim hardly notices, but his mother fondly notes that he might actually make a decent Viking someday if he applies himself. The rest of the story follows suit with one battle, dispute, and raid after another. Oddly enough (to me, maybe not to the original audience), Egil also happens to be a poet at heart, and his talent with words gets him out of many of the scrapes his temper lands him in. This saga also has the benefit of one of my favorite Viking-Age couples, King Eirik and Queen Gunnhild. Eirik is nice kid who is very fond of Egil when he’s first introduced in the story as a young prince. Things change rapidly after his marriage to Gunnhild, who hates and actively plots against Egil at every turn. She’s a Lady Macbeth of sorts in the story, constantly egging Eirik on to kill Egil and taunting him for being a coward whenever he’s tempted toward mercy. It’s really entertaining to see a guy nicknamed “Bloodaxe” be so thoroughly henpecked. Saga of the People of Laxardal:This second novel-length saga which begins when a guy, Hoskuld, buys a slave-woman (who turns out to be a captured Irish princess) on a business trip. He proceeds to bring her home, now pregnant, to his extremely unimpressed wife. The wife puts her foot down and banishes the woman from the house, but not before a truly lovely catfight erupts. All the while, Hoskuld seems genuinely surprised that the new domestic arrangement is not working out. [fun fact: the YA novel “Hush” is based on this saga]The slave-woman arranges for her son, wonderfully named Olaf Peacock, to go to Ireland and be recognized by her father, the Irish king. The king offers to make him heir to the kingdom, but he declines in favor of returning home (with a much-improved social standing). With some effort, he convinces Egil Skallagrimsson’s refreshingly independent daughter Thorgerd to marry him and they live more-or-less happily ever after in a haunted house in the forest. Olaf’s son Kjartan forms one half of my other favorite couple in the sagas. Kjartan and Gudrun’s depressing, star-crossed relationship is a great big soap opera. They’re childhood sweethearts, but the timing is never quite right for them. She gets married off to a useless man, who she later divorces in favor of another who drowns. Kjartan goes off to Norway to earn a name for himself and asks Gudren to wait for him. She won’t stand for it, and instead marries his best friend/half-brother Bolli (who is Hoskuld’s legitimate son). When Kjartan returns, he is obviously very upset but refuses to admit it. He marries someone else (which really bugs Gudren, though she won’t admit it either) and starts picking fights with Bolli at every opportunity. Despite her continued strained affection for Kjartan, Gudren is offended by the slights to her husband’s, and therefore her, honor and encourages Bolli to fight back. The two men have a confrontation and Bolli ends up killing Kjartan. That initial killing only serves to start a feud that their sons continue for generations, Hatfield and McCoy-style. At the end of her life, her son asks her who she loved best, and she makes a heart-breaking allusion to Kjartan, saying she loved best he who she dealt with worst. Or at least that’s how I choose to interpret it. It was interesting to me how frequently the women in these sagas are the ones instigating the violence, and demanding blood for revenge. I had, rather unfairly, not expected that. And of course since they generally didn’t do the avenging themselves, they had to make sure the men did it for them - whether they liked it or not. Their persuasive techniques are both vicious and extremely effective. The go-to plan seemed to be to tell one’s son/husband/brother that he was a pathetic excuse for a man and/or it was a pity and waste that he ever existed if he didn’t kill so-and-so and restore the family’s honor. Then simply rinse and repeat until the desired effect was achieved. If that didn’t work, there was always the old “too bad you weren’t born a girl, since at least then you could have married and given me a decent son-in-law” to fall back on. Which is just mean.The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue Gunnlaug’s saga was much shorter than the previous two I’ve mentioned, but I absolutely loved it. It really reminded me of a Disney fairy-tale, only with a wild name, a lot more blood and death, and no happy ending. It begins with a nobleman deciding to have his unborn daughter killed at birth after a prophetic dream warns that her beauty will lead men to kill over her, but his wife conspires to have the child raised in secret. She is reunited with her family and develops first a friendly affection and then love for Gunnlaug, who loves her in return but wishes to see the world. Her father agrees to promise Helga to him for three years, but when he does not return in time, he marries her to Gunnlaug’s rival Hrafn instead. Helga makes no secret about her lack of regard for him and pines openly for Gunnlaug, who returns just in time for the wedding. He challenges Hrafn, and they fight several times, eventually killing each other. The story ends with Helga slowly wasting away and dying of a broken heart. I love it. It’s somehow comforting to know that people a thousand years ago liked the exact same hackneyed, melodramatic storylines that we do today. It just never seems to get old, especially when it’s told so well. The Vinland SagasI remember the stories of Eric the Red and Leif Ericson from grade school social studies classes, but this was a much, much better version. Eirik starts his career as an outlaw and murderer on the lam. Leif has a crazy sister, Freydis, who leads her own expedition to the new world and has a crowd of rival settlers butchered; when the men refused to kill the women in the group, she grabs an axe and does the job herself. Where was that in my textbook? I would have paid attention to that. It’s fascinating to read about the first recorded interactions between Europeans and Native Americans. They were violent and exploitative, but yet refreshingly honest; the Vikings seemed to see the native peoples simply as threats to be fended off. In other words, they treated them like anyone else whose lands they wanted who happened to get in the way, and who had the bad luck of inferior weaponry. Naked greed is so much more palatable to me than the kind that gets tarted up in divine mandates and racial superiority. It took me about five months to read this, but it was well worth it. This completely rocked my sense of Norse culture of that time. Who knew that Vikings were so litigious or artistic? They seemed far more engrossed by their lawsuits and poetry than they did by raiding and pillaging. Color me surprised. I have a painfully beautiful picture of Iceland painted in my head after reading this, and am putting it firmly on my life-travel list. Fantastic book. . The Sagas of Icelanders Viral Ebook In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world s great literary treasures as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds ofIn Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world s great literary treasures as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ultimately, North America Sailing as far from the archetypal heroic adventure as the long ships did from home, the Sagas are written with psychological intensity, peopled by characters with depth, and explore perennial human issues like love, hate, fate and freedom.. Jane Smiley is a Pulitzer Prize winning American novelist.Born in Los Angeles, California, Smiley grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis, and graduated from John Burroughs School She obtained a A.B at Vassar College, then earned a M.F.A and Ph.D from the University of Iowa While working towards her doctorate, she also spent a year studying in Iceland as a Fulbright Scholar From 1981 to 1996, she taught at Iowa State University Smiley published her first novel, Barn Blind, in 1980, and won a 1985 O Henry Award for her short story Lily , which was published in The Atlantic Monthly Her best selling A Thousand Acres, a story based on William Shakespeare s King Lear, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992 It was adapted into a film of the same title in 1997 In 1995 she wrote her sole television script produced, for an episode of Homicide Life on the Street Her novella The Age of Grief was made into the 2002 film The Secret Lives of Dentists.Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel 2005 , is a non fiction meditation on the history and the nature of the novel, somewhat in the tradition of E M Forster s seminal Aspects of the Novel, that roams from eleventh century Japan s Murasaki Shikibu s The Tale of Genji to twenty first century Americans chick lit.In 2001, Smiley was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters.. The best Book The Sagas of Icelanders Stories are important. Maybe even essential. We learn about each other through stories; whether it be the Cliff Notes version of ourselves we tell to coworkers and clients or the long narratives enjoyed of our child's daily exploits at school. Long before our first attempts at writing stories we shared tales of ourselves, our heritage, our world through the spoken word. Homer's hymns, Aesop's fables or Icelandic sagas - they are all instructive, rich and certainly the greater for having been heard rather than read. I have a personal story I've told about a half dozen times to different friends over the years involving me, Ozzy Ozbourne, Teddy Roosevelt and the Alamo. In its few tellings I've never failed to solicit a laugh or a smile. I feel, however, if I tried to write that story rather than tell it I would kill its soul. When my audience is nodding their head and laughing at a certain part of the narrative I can embelish that portion and play it longer. If I see their eyes begin to glass or their attention wane, I move quicker to the next act. By the end of the anecdote I've (hopefully) played the strengths of the story to my audience and, if not entertained them, at least shared something personal about me that helps to further explain who I am. It was an absolute pleasure to read these dozen or so sagas of Icelanders whose culture is foreign to me, and yet I found the recognizable humanity in their struggles, the pleasures and pains of living and the search for some way to leave a mark on the world. Many of these stories were oral traditions passed through multiple generations of story tellers. How wonderful to know that the version I've read is an English translation of a collection of Icelandic texts written onto animal skins 700-1000 years ago from a story told and retold countless of times - to the point that whatever I'm reading is certainly a pale copy of the original. And yet the center of the story still holds. I'm invested in these explorers, their story. I truly want to understand the why, where and how of their lives. It makes me genuinely happy to know that while I appreciate great writers from the last 200 years, it isn't necessary to be a master of the written word to tell a compelling story.Vonnegut exhorts his reader in a few of his novels: Listen. He doesn't tell us to Look, or Read Carefully, but to hear what he is writing. I can hear his words in my head, but I don't think that is what he meant. I love reading Vonnegut aloud, even to myself if my wife or daughter won't listen. As a lover of storytelling, I'd like to think that Vonnegut would be happy to know that a fan of his works took him at his literal meaning. And perhaps some master Icelandic storytellers of yore could relate as well.
The Sagas Mythology Wiki Fandom Saga Saga literature Britannica Saga, in medieval Icelandic literature, any type of story or history in prose, irrespective of the kind or nature of the narrative or the purposes for which it was written Used in this general sense, the term applies to a wide range of literary works, including those of hagiography biographies of List of Sagas Dragon Ball Wiki Fandom This article is about the sagas in the Dragon Ball franchise For the video game, see Dragon Ball Z Sagas. This is a list of the sagas in the Dragon Ball series combined into groups of sagas involving a similar plotline and a prime antagonist. The Sagas of Icelanders Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world s greatest literary treasures as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. The Sagas of Icelanders by Jane Smiley The Sagas of Icelanders The Saga age was from about to about The Sagas were collected and written down about years after the events took place in Norway and Iceland at the time of the Vikings It is different from almost any other world literature.