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Title: An edition of Samsons Saga Fagra
Author: Lockley, M. L. R.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3611 9976
Awarding Body: Birmingham University
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 1979
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While much interest has been shown in the medieval romance of nations such as England and France, the same genre in Iceland has endured considerable neglect. Not only have there been few editions of the Icelandic romances published, but little critical interest has been shown in the sagas, or in the genre itself. Therefore, the present edition attempts to stimulate interest in both the romance genre and in Samsons saga fagra. A general discussion of the romance genre is included in Chapter I (Part One: Introduction); it is suggested that a new approach towards the Icelandic romances is desirable in order to place them in a European context, as they represent a valuable literary contribution best viewed independently of the classical and Family sagas. Some scholars have attempted to reevaluate the romances and thus engender interest in them, but these sagas are generally seen as degenerate products of an unfortunate literary decline, a supposition which is challenged herein. Therefore the opening chapter places tile romances in their European context and draws attention to the need for a new appreciation of this body of literature. A definition of the fictional genres is included, and the terms suggested are the riddarasogur, lygisogur and fornaldarsogur, which cover, respectively, the translated Norwegian romances, the Icelandic tales of fancy and the heroic or adventure sagas. It is further noted however that the sagas are not constricted by rigid categories, and that the lygisogur in particular combine elements of romance with features of the heroic tradition; moreover there is a juxtaposition of Germanic and foreign elements, resulting in the patchwork effect most apparent in Samsons saga. The subsequent chapters, dealing with Samsons saga and its relation to the other genres, and to European and Northern literature, substantiate the view that the Icelandic romances deserve a place of interest in the continental romance context. It is also noteworthy that, as discussed in Chapter V, the style of Samsons saga is simple and concise, avoiding the turgidity of other lygisogur, and a further alignment, with the classical saga tradition, is thus suggested. This distinctive feature tends to indicate an earlier, rather than later, date for the saga and it is therefore possible that as more of the lygisogur are examined, others of this genre, employing a similarly plain, almost 'classical' style, will be discovered. The rest of the Introduction comprises a brief discussion of the manuscripts used in forming the text, as well as an explanation of the system of normalization used. In Part Two of the edition is found the text, as well as relevant textual and general notes, along with the glossary. Part Three includes the motif index (which refers to both the Introduction and the text) and the bibliography
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available