Speech-wrangling : shutting up and shutting out the oral tradition in some Icelandic sagas

  • This chapter considers the role of prolegomena and authorial interventions in constraining and contextualizing orally derived saga narratives in high medieval Iceland. It examines the question of whether prolegomena were intended to be included in oral renditions of the sagas and, if so, in whose 'voice' they were understood to be spoken. The 'openness' of a saga text - the extent of editorial freedom enjoyed by those concerned with extracting it from the oral milieu - has been much discussed; however, less attention has historically been paid to the freedom which the written texts then afforded any would-be reciter for emending or adapting their content when reading them aloud to a live audience. Prolegomena provide our most instructive source of contemporary commentary on how the written sagas should be understood and transmitted, and they therefore represent distinct and important critical texts in their own right, which inform our understanding of how 'open' or 'fixed' medieval Icelanders understood these extant written sagas to be.

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Author:Brian McMahonORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Openness in Medieval Europe / ed. by Manuele Gragnolati and Almut Suerbaum ; Cultural Inquiry ; 23
Publisher:ICI Press
Place of publication:Berlin
Document Type:Part of a Book
Date of Publication (online):2022/06/22
Year of first Publication:2022
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/07/06
Tag:Authority; Epilogues; Old Norse; Oral tradition; Prologues; Recitation
GND Keyword:Saga; Altnordisch; Island; Mündiche Überlieferung; Schriftlichkeit; Prolog; Epilog; Autorität
Page Number:20
First Page:66
Last Page:84
Dewey Decimal Classification:8 Literatur / 80 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft / 800 Literatur und Rhetorik
8 Literatur / 83 Deutsche und verwandte Literaturen / 839 Andere germanische Literaturen
Sammlungen:CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft
CompaRe | Allgemeine und Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft / ICI Berlin
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 4.0