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A Handbook to Eddic Poetry
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Book description

This is the first comprehensive and accessible survey in English of Old Norse eddic poetry: a remarkable body of literature rooted in the Viking Age, which is a critical source for the study of early Scandinavian myths, poetics, culture and society. Dramatically recreating the voices of the legendary past, eddic poems distil moments of high emotion as human heroes and supernatural beings alike grapple with betrayal, loyalty, mortality and love. These poems relate the most famous deeds of gods such as Óðinn and Þórr with their adversaries the giants; they bring to life the often fraught interactions between kings, queens and heroes as well as their encounters with valkyries, elves, dragons and dwarfs. Written by leading international scholars, the chapters in this volume showcase the poetic riches of the eddic corpus, and reveal its relevance to the history of poetics, gender studies, pre-Christian religions, art history and archaeology.

Reviews

'Once again, Larrington has stepped up to the plate, with her co-editors Judy Quinn and Brittany Schorn, to provide this very welcome compendium of scholarly commentary, not on the whole of the mythology, but on the medieval Icelandic poetry in which it is recorded - poetry of the kind that was used by Snorri as the basis for his first in the line of many prose retellings … The volume as a whole will encourage many readers in a renewed engagement with these wonderful poems, preferably in the original language, and make them realize how much deeper and richer these 'sources' are than even the best modern retelling.'

Judith Jesch Source: The Times Literary Supplement

'… a skillfully edited book that will serve the intended purpose to present a wide range of contemporary eddic studies to researchers and students. It is interesting to read such diverse approaches to a single area of Old Norse studies, and it is fascinating to see proponents of oral theory juxtaposed with advocates of New Philology in a single book.'

Lukas Rösli Source: Scandinavian Studies

'Calling into question previously established categorizations, including the binary classification system of Old Norse poems into either skaldic or Eddic, the book provides the opportunity to discuss poems that have rarely been thought of as Eddic alongside those that are standard exemplars.'

J. Sundquist Source: Choice

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