The Laxdaela Saga addresses the eternal triangle of love between Kjartan Ólafsson, Bolli Thorleiksson and Gudrún Ósvífursdóttir. Kjartan and his foster brother. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. The Laxdaela Saga, a story of the men and women of the Salmon River valley, is an Icelandic family saga believed to have been composed in the middle of the.
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Return to Book Page. Written around by an unknown author, the Laxdaela Saga is an extraordinary tale of conflicting kinships and passionate love, and one of the most compelling works of Icelandic literature.
Covering years in the lives of the inhabitants of the community of Laxriverdale, the saga focuses primarily upon the story of Gudrun Osvif’s-daughter: A moving tale of murder and sacrifice, romance and regret, the Laxdaela Saga is also a fascinating insight into an era of radical change – a time when the Age of Chivalry was at its fullest flower in continental Europe, and the Christian faith was making its impact felt upon the Viking world.
Laxdæla saga | Icelandic literature |
Published November 30th by Penguin Classics first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. May 23, Markus rated it it was amazing Shelves: In the end, the twists and turns laxddaela mysteries of her love l ‘Tell me one thing, Mother,’ he asks, ‘whom did you love most?
In the end, the twists and turns and mysteries of her love life are left up to the reader to wonder about. Most of the saga should be treated as fictitious embellishment, but appreciate it as simply a fantastic story, and that is what you shall receive.
An excellent tale of a strong and independent woman and her changing fortunes, in love, grief and vengeance. Much of medieval literature remains rather obscure to the modern reader aside from those few of us who spend our lives living in the pastespecially when it comes from such a small and seemingly insignificant corner of the world.
Jun 30, El rated it liked it Recommended to El by: I’m well aware that laxadela Laxdaela Saga is considered the “most important of the Icelandic sagas”, so it’s probably good that I chose this as my first Icelandic saga. There’s a lot of cool stuff here, and I learned quite a bit actually – like how if a woman wanted a divorce she could dress more manly a man could get a divorce by dressing more effeminately as welland that one hundred marks of refi I’m well aware that the Laxdaela Saga is considered the “most important of the Icelandic sagas”, so it’s probably good that I chose this as my first Icelandic saga.
There’s a lot of cool stuff here, and I learned quite a bit actually – like how if a woman wanted a divorce she could dress more manly a man could get a divorce by dressing more effeminately as welland that one hundred marks of refined silver is about the same as approximately milch cows. Y’know, to give you perspective and all. Where was that latter tidbit in my math classes in school I ask?? I made the mistake perhaps of reading the Introduction first, which broke down in some detail the different chapters of the book.
Considering the chapters are generally about a page and a half long, the Introduction was rather saag. I also felt that the summaries were quite sufficient. By the time I got to the text I felt like I had already read the stories because I basically hadso the joy of the experience was sort laxcaela lost.
Swordplay, however, is always pretty neato, and the chicks here would All of these things I can respect. Also worth noting are the names in this text.
You can’t make this stuff up. No one took any shit off of Lambi either, despite the soft quality of the name. Still, I wasn’t engrossed throughout this reading as I had hoped to be. The chapters were short as I’ve already mentioned, which provides very little time to really get into the meat of laxdwela story.
Just when I was ready for it to go somewhere, the chapter ended and it was on to paxdaela next story. In a lot of ways the text is somewhat clinical, very matter-of-fact. I’m not sure if that’s typical of 13th-century Icelandic literature laxdaepa not, but eventually I’ll continue my foray into the world of the Vikings and I’ll let you know.
It’s like that time in college saha my English professor told the class about an Alaskan story in which a boy who was very close to his mother was unable to cope well with her death, and so he kicked her head around and chased it over the world and that’s how the story ended.
I remember one girl, Toni, who nearly had a breakdown. I can respect the storyteller’s choice to end a story in that manner, but holy crap. He just kicked his mom’s laxdalea around the world a bunch?
The Laxdale Saga
Laxdaeal still can’t do algebra, but that Alaskan story has stayed with me. That’ll get me far. View all 7 comments. Dec 19, Graychin rated it really liked it. Laxdaela Saga is a multigenerational soap opera focused on several families of 10th and 11th century Icelanders. There are unlucky lovers, long schemes, extemporaneous versifyings, magic swords and blood feuds galore. Two laddaela of advice, however: Fetches often manifested themselves before death or at other times of crisis.
Elsewhere in the sagas, these fetches are said to have passed on from one member of the family to another. View all 4 comments. One of the great Icelandic sagas.
It revolves mainly around the life of Gudrun, a strong woman of four husbands and three sons, who have an important role in the saga. At some point this text becomes a typical saga, with a chain of murders and revenges. But the most interesting point is its telling of the first introduction of Christianity in Iceland, which took place during the time of king Olaf I of Norway.
Three Norwegian kings are important in the saga: Harald was a Pagan, the two Olaf were Christians. Jul 16, Margaret rated it really liked it Shelves: Some of the founding sagas of Iceland and in part the basis for Wagner’s Ring Cycle or at least some of the Brunhild parts. Not only is the founding of Iceland described, but also the drama of kidnappings, jealousy, and freezing cold winters.
Oct 22, Lysmerry rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Laxdaela Saga contains various figures and events, some legendary, some historical, all exaggerated to epic proportions. Though I was drawn in by by the odd names, traditions and blood lust of the Icelandic Viking culture, what set this story apart was the striking modernity at the heart of the plot.
Unlike in other pre-modern literature, the The Laxdaela Saga contains various figures and events, some legendary, some historical, all exaggerated to epic proportions. Unlike in other pre-modern literature, the women of Viking sagas retain their power and influence beyond their youth. They are responsible for defending their land and rights while their husbands raid foreign shores. Gudrun, in her quest for avenging a wrong between clans, plays a of Lady Macbeth minus the stigma as her fixation on the revenge coincides with the cultural norm and is a triumph over the weaker wills of her clansmen.
The story contains various subplots and a rich insight into the Icelandic family structure. Key among practices is fosterage, in which an adolescent is taken into another family of equal rank, thus forging an alliance between the young man and his foster family. At any hint of dishonor- and there are some comically trifling ones here- a vast array of characters is forced into a continuing cycle of violence and retribution. Love the episodes with Olaf.
All have gothic elements – going to meet his grandfather the Irish king and getting lost in a strange fog of the coast, battling a ghost in the barn. Love reading through to what signifies, what counts for people, in this different time and place, what things motivate the drama.
Wonder if any sagas tell stories of peasants and servants? We only ever glimpse them here and in Gunnlaug Serpent’s Tongue. I guess sagas were an elite art form. Read somewhere that this remar Love the episodes with Olaf. Read somewhere that this remarkable genre – unique in medieval europe – developed out of the marriage between literate Irish women captives and Norse men with a strong oral culture.
Also, any genre that has characters with names like Half the Troublesome Poet is all right by me! Aug 21, Leah rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This is not only my favorite saga but also in the top five of my all time favorite books.
I can read it over and over and ssaga tire of it. I love the cast of strong, interesting women. Gudrun is an amazing character! I love how Gudrun’s description, although it does contain some physical details, focuses on her intelligence and shrewdness. In contrast, Kjartan’s description is almost all physical. This contrast seems to indicate that this is a very different type of saga. Gudrun intrigues me to This is not only my favorite saga but also in the top five of my all time favorite saaga.
Gudrun intrigues me to the end–I’m still not sure which man she loved the most.
Laxdaela Saga Summary & Study Guide
Nov 17, Bob Newman rated it it was amazing. The past is clouded over, dark and murky. Once in a while, a hole opens up and we peer in, not sure what we are going to behold. Sometimes the view is understandable, more often, it is difficult to fathom, given our contemporary attitudes and expectations.
For a view of another culture far away in time and place, you cannot do better than to read the various Icelandic sagas, though “The Tale of Genji” is certainly up there too. Some people may think Beowulf is only about fighting with monsters.
Similarly, if you approach the sagas, like this one, with the idea that it’s about fighting and vengeance which it is in a wayyou are going to miss the most interesting aspect of it.