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Title: Approaching Ragnarok : use of Norse mythology in late twentieth century Scandinavian literature
Author: Twycross, Fiona
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1998
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The core premise in this thesis is that each generation rediscovers and reinterprets mythology from its own perspective; and that individual authors within each generation make intertextual use of mythology accordingly. With this premise in mind I will examine the intertextual use, interpretation, and revision of Norse mythology, particularly the material from Snorri's Edda and the Poetic Edda, in Scandinavian literature of the 1980s and early 1990s. Through an analysis of the use of mythology by individual authors, I aim to examine the appeal of myth generally, both to authors and readers, and will discuss how the presence of mythological material in literature can reinforce the underlying ideology in the work as a whole, and may also influence the reader's receptiveness to the work. Alongside this, the works will be analysed individually in their social and literary context. The thesis will be divided into three sections. The first section will introduce the earliest literary accounts of Norse mythology, and the cosmology they depict. The re-use of the mythology in literature generally will be discussed, and the tradition of literary re-use of Norse mythology will be presented. The second section will form the main body of the thesis. The first chapter will provide a brief survey of the works to be covered. These are taken from across Scandinavia - primarily from Denmark and Norway. In all the works, which range from post-modern poetry to picture books for children, the use of Norse mythology is a central element. The works will then be analysed in individual chapters. The first four of these (2-5) examine the use of myth in novels: Ragnarok [The Downfall of the Gods] (1982) by Danish author Villy Sørensen; Kärleksguen Frö [The Love God Freyr] (1988) by Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren; Gunnlaðar saga [The Story about Gunnlod] (1987) by Icelandic writer Svava Jakobsdóttir; and Norwegian Vera Henriksen's Ravn og Due [Raven and Dove] (1991). These will be analysed in turn showing how they utilise similar material with a variety of results.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available