This volume contains seventeen of Lars Lönnroth’s articles about the sagas, Eddic poetry, and other Icelandic or Old Norse texts.
It starts with excerpts from his controversial doctoral dissertation, European Sources of Icelandic Saga Writing (1965) in which he challenged the established views of that time about the origins of the sagas. Other papers from Lönnroth’s early career include studies in the narrative art of sagas in which he questioned the prevailing opinion that sagas are realistic, ´objective´, and devoid of ideology or Christian morality.
Later articles included in this book deal with the application of the oral-formulaic theory to Eddic poetry, the interpretation of the enigmatic inscription on the Swedish Rök-Stone, and the reception of Old Norse texts in Western literary tradition from Snorri Sturluson’ s in the thirteenth century to Richard Wagner’s in the nineteenth.
Each of the papers has been supplemented in this version by a post scriptum, in which Lönnroth comments on the reception and further discussion of his scholarly work, occasionally revising his former opinions.