Emotion in Old Norse Literature
Title Details

223 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

Series: Studies in Old Norse Literature

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

Emotion in Old Norse Literature

Translations, Voices, Contexts

by Sif Rikhardsdottir

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
Draws on Old Norse literary heritage to explore questions of emotion as both a literary motif and as a social phenomenon.
Authors throughout history have relied on the emotional make-up of their readers and audiences to make sense of the behaviours and actions of fictive characters. But how can a narrative voice contained in a text evoke feelings that are ultimately never real or actual, but a figment of a text, a fictive reality created out of words? How does one reconcile interiority - a presumed modern conceptualisation - with medieval emotionality?
The volume seeksto address these questions. It positions itself within the larger context of the history of emotion, offering a novel approach to the study of literary representations of emotionality and its staging through voice, performativityand narrative manipulation, probing how emotions are encoded in texts. The author argues that the deceptively laconic portrayal of emotion in the Icelandic sagas and other literature reveals an "emotive script" that favours reticence over expressivity and exposes a narrative convention of emotional subterfuge through narrative silences and the masking of emotion. Focusing on the ambivalent borders between prose and poetic language, she suggests that poeticvocalisation may provide a literary space within which emotive interiority can be expressed. The volume considers a wide range of Old Norse materials - from translated romances through Eddic poetry and Íslendingasögur (sagas of Icelanders) to indigenous romance.

Sif Rikhardsdottir is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Iceland and Vice-Chair of the Institute of Research in Literature and Visual Arts.
Introduction
Literary Identities and Emotive Scripts
Emotive Subjectivity
Voice and Vocalisation
Public Masking and Emotive Interiority
Modulating Emotion
Conclusion
"Emotion in Old Norse Literature is a very informative book and will no doubt be quoted quite frequently." JOURNAL OF ENGLISH AND GERMANIC PHILOLOGY
"This book is a vitally significant piece of scholarship that is genuinely trailblazing and that provides nuanced - and much-needed -theoretical models for the study of literary emotion in premodern literatures. .[S]cholars not only of Old Norse studies but also of medieval studies and emotion studies more broadly would be well advised to pay attention to this book's interventions." SPECULUM
"Sif Rikhardsdottir's Emotion in Old Norse Literature: Translations, Voices, Contexts ... examines the full, rich range of emotions in medieval ONI texts. This monograph brings together the history of emotions, various genre traditions of ONI literary studies, literary and cultural transmission, and narrative studies in a tour de force interdisciplinary examination of literary emotionality that is equal parts stand-alone argument, intervention, and invitation." THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW
"This is a solid volume, well researched and well executed within well-defined methodological boundaries-a pleasure to read. It represents a unique and valuable contribution to both the study of the history of emotions and Old Norse studies, and will prove thought-provoking to scholars in both fields." PARERGON

Hardcover

9781843844709

October 2017

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9781787440746

October 2017

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Title Details

223 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

Series: Studies in Old Norse Literature

Imprint: D.S.Brewer