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Njals Saga en Modruvallabok

Njals Saga en Modruvallabok


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Pregúntele a un historiador medieval: ¿Quién escribió la saga de Njáls?

Njáls Saga es una de las más largas de las cuarenta sagas islandesas escritas entre los siglos XIII y XIV.

Muchos islandeses pueden rastrear su herencia a los personajes de las sagas. En islandés, la palabra & # 8216saga & # 8217 significa tanto & # 8216history & # 8217 como & # 8216story & # 8217 y la saga de Njáls es increíblemente dramática. Hay muertes y quemaduras, hambre y venganza, pero uno de los misterios más intrigantes es la orientación sexual de Njáll.

Entonces le preguntamos al historiador medieval Arngrímur Vídalín: "¿Quién escribió Njáls Saga y era Njáll gay?"

Casi ningún texto medieval islandés se atribuye a un autor en particular. Las sagas se basan en una tradición oral centenaria de narración que se compila y trabaja en una narrativa y, finalmente, siglos después, se escribe. La versión de Njáls Saga con la que la mayoría de la gente está familiarizada fue editada por Einar Ól. Sveinsson en 1954. Su objetivo era recrear el original perdido Njáls Saga recogiéndolo de varias redacciones de diferentes manuscritos.

Muchos eruditos han presentado argumentos a favor de su autoría, siendo los autores potenciales Sæmundur el Sabio, Snorri Sturluson y su sobrino Sturla Þórðarson. Sin embargo, nadie argumentó que podría haber sido una mujer quien lo escribió.

Los matices homosexuales de Njáll se insinúan en su falta de vello facial y sus estrechos vínculos con Gunnar. La homosexualidad no era una orientación sexual conocida en la Edad Media, por lo que Njáll nunca se describe como gay. Pero la gente ha tenido sexo homosexual en todos los países e Islandia no es una excepción.

Afortunadamente, no hay una respuesta verdadera a esta pregunta, eso eliminaría la magia de la historia. Somos capaces de abordar las sagas con nuestra propia mentalidad y experiencias, sin prejuicios ni sesgos. Es porque somos capaces de reflejarnos en estos textos que continuamente nos ofrecen nuevas y emocionantes posibilidades de interpretación.


Guía de estudio de Njal & # 39s Saga

Njal & # 39s Saga es la más larga y venerada de las cuarenta sagas familiares escritas en Islandia entre los siglos XIII y XIV. Los eventos de la saga provienen de varias fuentes diferentes, incluidos cuentos orales, El libro de los asentamientos (un relato detallado de todas las demandas en la Islandia medieval), El libro de los islandeses (un relato de la expansión del cristianismo en Islandia), y también otras sagas. La saga incluye una amplia gama de poesía en verso entre sus pasajes en su mayoría prosaicos, algunos de ellos tomados directamente de fuentes históricas.

En islandés, la palabra 'saga' significa tanto 'historia' como 'historia'. Y aunque este texto ofrece una versión poética de la historia de Islandia, también aprovecha al máximo la forma dramática. Así como Shakespeare usó personajes históricos como base de muchos de sus personajes unos siglos más tarde, el autor de esta saga, que permanece en el anonimato, tomó a los islandeses reales y los insertó en su drama. Muchos de ellos aparecen en otras sagas, pero algunos de ellos, como el hermano de Gunnar, Kolskegg, están notablemente ausentes en otras sagas. Esto podría significar que el autor inventó deliberadamente este personaje para el drama, o que otras interpretaciones dramáticas de los eventos no encontraron a Kolskegg relevante para la historia. En Saga de Njal, el autor también presenta a muchos hermanos, padres e hijos que no intervienen en la trama, mostrando que este autor se sintió obligado a escribir en las genealogías, como en muchas otras sagas. Naturalmente, esto puede hacer que la experiencia de la lectura sea bastante desafiante para los lectores modernos, porque hay muchos personajes y lugares que hay que seguir. Pero para los lectores contemporáneos, estas genealogías proporcionaron un camino hacia la saga: muchos islandeses pueden rastrear su propio linaje hasta los personajes de la saga. Esta saga se escribió después de que Noruega volviera a anexar Islandia, por lo que las genealogías también pueden verse como una afirmación de la identidad personal y nacional. Pasarían otros siete siglos antes de que Islandia recuperara su independencia, lo que puede ayudar a explicar la reverencia duradera que los lectores siguen sintiendo por la saga.

En la primera exposición, uno puede reconocer las sagas por sus demostraciones de violencia brutal y destreza física, pero el personaje principal sin barba no es un guerrero. Lleva un exiguo hacha de mango corto solo una vez en toda la saga. Saga de Njal celebra la inteligencia, la sabiduría, la determinación, la determinación, la perspicacia para los negocios, la capacidad de dar y recibir consejos, la decencia y el sentido del honor. El traductor Robert Cooke dice: "En nuestra era de dudas, crisis de identidad e incertidumbre existencial, es refrescante leer acerca de la toma de decisiones firme y la acción decidida de hombres y mujeres con un sentido seguro de sí mismos" (xv).

Cómo citar https://www.gradesaver.com/njals-saga en formato MLA

Preguntas y respuestas de Njal & rsquos Saga

La sección de preguntas y respuestas de Njal & rsquos Saga es un gran recurso para hacer preguntas, encontrar respuestas y discutir la novela.

En el episodio de Thorgunna, una inmigrante de las Hébridas con su lujosa ropa de cama se ve atrapada en una lluvia que resulta ser de sangre. Antes de irse a la cama y morir, advierte que toda la ropa de cama está destruida. Cuando no lo es.

El conflicto entre estas dos religiones surge rápidamente y también se resuelve con bastante rapidez, aunque sus efectos son duraderos. Njal es visto como un personaje sabio mucho antes del advenimiento de la nueva religión, por lo que es uno de los primeros en elegirla.

Convertido por Olaf Tryggvason. Envió a un sacerdote para evangelizar a los islandeses. Las misiones anteriores también buscaron la conversión. A finales de la década de los noventa, las tensiones religiosas entre cristianos y paganos habían comenzado a acelerarse en algunos asesinatos donde la religión era la principal.

Guía de estudio para Njal & rsquos Saga

La guía de estudio de Njal & # 39s Saga contiene una biografía, ensayos de literatura, preguntas de prueba, temas principales, personajes y un resumen y análisis completos.

Ensayos para Njal & rsquos Saga

Los ensayos de Njal & # 39s Saga son ensayos académicos para citar. Estos artículos fueron escritos principalmente por estudiantes y proporcionan un análisis crítico de Njal & # 39s Saga.


Resumen de la saga de Njal y análisis de los capítulos 95-106

95 - Este capítulo presenta a Flosi Thordarson, hermano de Starkad, que está casado con Steinvor, la hija de Hall of Sida.

96 - Este capítulo presenta a Hall of Sida, cuyo hermano, Thorstein (o 'Broad-belly'), tuvo un hijo llamado Kol. Este es el mismo Kol a quien Kari mató en Gales.

97 - Njal quiere que su hijo adoptivo Hoskuld se case con la hija de Starkad, Hildigunn. Hoskuld está de acuerdo, diciendo que está feliz de cumplir con cualquiera de los deseos de Njal. Hildigunn dice que no se casará con él a menos que se convierta en godi o cacique local. Sin embargo, no pueden encontrar un dios para él, porque nadie está dispuesto a vender el suyo. Njal da muchos consejos contradictorios para quienes tienen demandas durante este momento frustrante. Njal reúne a todos los caciques y establecen un Tribunal Quinto para juicios nulos y apelaciones, ya que los Tribunales de Barrio no están haciendo mucho bien últimamente para resolver problemas. Seleccionarán nuevos godords para esto. Hoskuld se convierte en godi y finalmente puede casarse con Hildigunn. Se hace cargo de la propiedad en Ossabaer.

98 - Lyting, el hombre que está casado con la hermana de Thrain, Steinvor, organiza un gran banquete e invita a los Njalsson, Sigfusson y muchos otros. Sus hermanos son alborotadores. Se ve a Hoskuld Njalsson pasando de largo con aire fanfarrón. Lyting se ofrece a cazarlo si ese es el deseo de Hoskuld Thrainsson, pero no es su deseo. Gunnar Lambason y Lambi Sigurdarson no solo están conversando: estaban con Thrain cuando fue asesinado y quieren venganza de sangre ya que el hermano de Hoskuld Njalsson, Skarphedin, estuvo involucrado en el asesinato. Después de que emboscaron a Hoskuld Njalsson esa noche, los hombres se negaron a cortarle la cabeza, dejándolo apenas con vida al final. La madre de Hoskuld, Hrody, llega a Njal y Bergthora en medio de la noche para buscar su ayuda para curar a Hoskuld. Njal no ve la posibilidad de que viva, y se sorprende de que alguien la tuviera. Se queda con Hrodny, su ex esposa, esa noche.

99 - Skarphedin y sus hermanos deciden tender una emboscada a Lyting. Skarphedin le quita la pierna a Hallgrim inmediatamente y Lyting empuja su lanza hacia Skarphedin, que está bloqueado solo por el escudo de Helgi Njalsson. Skarphedin corta la columna vertebral de Hallkel con su hacha. Lyting huye, pero no sin varias heridas entregadas por Grim y Helgi. Lyting le cuenta a Hoskuld lo que sucedió, y está claro que Lyting apenas se aferra a la vida. Hoskuld acepta presentar un acuerdo en el que Lyting se queda con su granja, pero acepta los términos de Njal y su hijo en todo lo demás. Njal dice que está interesado en un acuerdo solo si los hermanos sobrevivientes de Lyting son proscritos con una compensación pagada por Hoskuld, su hijo adoptivo. Njal recomienda que Lyting se mueva debido a fuerzas fuera de su control, pero no desea imponerse sobre él de esta manera, por lo que está fuera del asentamiento.

100 - Earl Hakon es asesinado por su esclavo, Kark, y Olaf Tryggvason toma su lugar como gobernante de Noruega. Olaf, un cristiano, requiere que Noruega, las Shetlands, Orkney y las Islas Feroe también se conviertan a su religión. Njal es uno de los pocos que encuentra la nueva fe mejor que la antigua. Se dice que Njal "a menudo se apartaba y murmuraba para sí mismo" (173) también. Un hombre llamado Thangbrand es enviado a Islandia para predicar la fe con Gudleif, un gran guerrero islandés. Hall of Sida invita a los hombres a quedarse con él ya que no parece haber un "mercado para [sus] productos". (173) Thangbrand canta una misa para el ángel Michael a la mañana siguiente. Hall of Sida se convierte por interés en esta figura cristiana y es bautizado.

101 - Hall y Thangbrand se convierten en misioneros en la primavera, llevando solo crucifijos. Convierten a muchos de los parientes de Hall y luego pasan a Hedin el Hechicero, a quien se le había pagado para matar a los misioneros. Mientras Thangbrand cabalga hacia Hofdabrekka, un enorme abismo divide la tierra bajo los pies de su caballo. Salta del caballo y trepa por la ladera del abismo. Da gracias a Dios.

102 - Gudleif persigue a Hedin el Hechicero y lo empala con su lanza. Cuando los misioneros se oponen a Veturlidi el Poeta, deciden matarlo. Se compone un verso sobre esto. Thorvald el Enfermo de Grimsnes ordena a Ulf Uggason que mate a los misioneros también, pero él se niega. El orden y el rechazo también están en forma de verso. Sin embargo, se planean emboscadas contra los misioneros cuando se enteran de esto, se apegan a su plan de convertir a la mayor cantidad de personas posible. Thorvald lidera la emboscada él mismo y le cortan el brazo, lo que lo lleva a la muerte. Cuando Steinunn, madre de Ref the Poet, se encuentra con Thangbrand, ella dice que Thor desafió a Cristo a una pelea y él no quiso participar. Thangbrand responde que "Thor sería simple polvo y cenizas si Dios no quisiera que viviera". (177) Steinunn dice que el barco de Thangbrand naufragó el verano pasado porque Thor lo deseaba.

103 - Gest Oddleifsson, un sabio con perspicacia, celebra una fiesta para dar la bienvenida a los misioneros. Más de 200 paganos ya están presentes y se espera que un loco llamado Otrygg venga un poco. Thangbrand dice que competirán entre las religiones al bendecir un fuego y ver cuál está dispuesto a atravesar el loco y cuál teme. A su llegada, Otrygg camina directamente a través del fuego de los paganos cuando intenta demoler el fuego cristiano, su espada se clava en la viga transversal de la sala y el crucifijo de Thorvald le hace perder el control de la espada. Thangbrand y sus hombres matan a Otrygg. Gest, el anfitrión, recomienda que Thangbrand lleve esta fe al Althing si realmente quiere que se arraigue en Islandia. Thangbrand cree que es el lugar más difícil de convertir con éxito, pero Gest le recuerda que "un árbol no cae al primer golpe" (179).

104 - Hjalti Skeggjason es proscrito por burlarse de los viejos dioses mientras está en Noruega, una referencia a su verso en el Capítulo 102. Al rey Olaf se le cuenta sobre la experiencia cercana a la muerte de Thangbrand con el abismo que se abre debajo de su caballo y se enoja con los islandeses por maldecirlo. . Condena a muerte a todos los islandeses en Noruega y solo reconsidera esta dura sentencia sobre la promesa de Gizur e Hjalti de difundir la fe en Islandia. Hjalti se entera de que ha sido ilegalizado, por lo que alguien ocupa su lugar.

105 - At the Thing, los paganos y los cristianos se declaran libres de la ley del otro grupo. Hay tal alboroto en Law Rock que "nadie podía oír a nadie más" (181). A Thorgeir, un Godi pagano de Ljosavatn, se le pide que proclame la ley. Se cubre la cabeza con un manto y permanece en silencio durante todo un día. Al día siguiente, rompe su silencio y proclama que el cristianismo es el fundamento de su ley. Esto implica dejar de "adorar a los ídolos falsos, exponer a los niños y comer carne de caballo" (181). Sin embargo, agrega, si estas actividades se practican en secreto, no habrá castigo. Unos años más tarde, se abandona este apéndice secreto. Las principales fiestas y feriados cristianos también se introducen en el calendario anual. Los paganos se sienten traicionados, pero la ley es ley porque ya habían dado su consentimiento a la decisión de Thorgeir al respecto.

106 - Amundi el Ciego, hijo de Hoskuld Njalsson, llega a The Thing tres años después de la proclamación cristiana para buscar a Lyting. Pide una indemnización por el asesinato de su padre, pero Lyting dice que ya ha dado una indemnización a los Njalsson. Amundi recupera la vista el tiempo suficiente para hundir su hacha en la cabeza de Lyting. Njal dice que la afirmación de Amundi es válida. Se paga una compensación de la mitad del valor a los parientes de Lyting.

Análisis

El lector puede tener ganas de renunciar a los nombres que siguen a esta sección. Ahora hay varios personajes diferentes con los mismos nombres, sus presentaciones individuales parecen fuera de orden y la importancia de cada personaje parece estar disminuyendo. La suposición es que esta extraordinaria complejidad se deriva del deseo de permanecer históricamente exacto. Pero como podemos determinar claramente dados los nuevos hallazgos académicos sobre la historia de la difusión del cristianismo y la ley en Islandia, la carga de la precisión no parece tan fuerte como el lector podría suponer dados los problemas anteriores.

El establecimiento de la Quinta Corte es particularmente interesante porque muestra la influencia de Njal en Islandia en su conjunto. Su consejo legal es tan venerado que cuando su consejo ya no resuelve dilemas legales, nadie lo culpa. De hecho, dada la motivación ulterior de Njal de establecer nuevos nobles para su hijo adoptivo Hoskuld para que pueda casarse, no podemos estar seguros de que el consejo legal no esté contaminado. ¡Es posible que esté dando malos consejos a sabiendas para poder establecer la felicidad de su hijo adoptivo! Si bien Njal ha sido una brújula moral de alguna manera para la saga, también es extrañamente manipulador cuando se trata de procedimientos legales, y no confía tanto en sus propios escrúpulos como en si se le ha pedido que resuelva un problema o no. El lector puede ser un poco más indulgente a la luz de problemas como la aparente incapacidad del hombre para ir más allá de las confrontaciones brutalmente violentas para resolver problemas. La ley es el método de Njal para templar al hombre, pero no elude usarla para su propio beneficio personal. Quizás la moraleja de la saga es que aquellos que no son conocedores de la ley deben tener cuidado con el hecho de que pueden ser engañados fácilmente, o que uno tiene el imperativo de adquirir experiencia en la ley para ejercer influencia personal.

Si bien ya hemos visto algunos casos de influencia religiosa, esta sección lo pone en primer plano por primera vez. Los capítulos 100 a 106 son esencialmente un relato de la conversión de Islandia tomado directamente de El libro de los islandeses de Ari y el Kristni Saga. El lector también puede ver paralelismos entre la religión aquí y en la sexta temporada de Game of Thrones (¡no hay spoilers aquí!). Sin embargo, a diferencia de la Biblia u otros textos religiosos, Njal & # 39s Saga da crédito a la magia pagana y sus efectos tangibles. El argumento es menos evangélico que los mensajes cristianos modernos que proclaman que otras religiones son falsas. Hedin el Hechicero es capaz de abrir un abismo debajo de Thangbrand y tragarse su caballo a través de sus propias creencias religiosas. La prueba entre las dos religiones resulta ser más relativa que absoluta. De hecho, se necesitan Thangbrand y sus hombres para acabar con el berserker, incluso si tienen la ayuda de un crucifijo y fuego. Cuando Amundi recupera la vista el tiempo suficiente para matar a Lyting, tampoco se menciona el cristianismo. En última instancia, la relación entre la magia y el cristianismo no es uno a uno en esta saga.


La Ley

La saga presta mucha atención a los detalles de la ley, y los mejores abogados de Islandia son considerados hombres honorables. Sin embargo, la ley está en conflicto directo con la brutalidad natural del hombre y su deseo de venganza. El hecho de que una reunión anual de todos los hombres libres en Islandia se centre en los procedimientos legales da esperanza al futuro de la ley en Islandia, pero ni siquiera la corte de apelaciones puede salvarlos de estallar en una batalla total cuando el engaño y el engaño se introduce en los procedimientos, una táctica no infrecuente en el derecho medieval (y, lamentablemente, moderno).


Quién & # 8217s quién en las sagas islandesas

Según el principal experto islandés en la saga de Njáls, Einar Ólafur Sveinsson, la saga se escribió a más tardar en 1280 d.C. Aunque muchos han intentado encontrar un autor para la Saga, y se han escrito muchos libros que apoyan esta teoría o la otra, la identidad real de los autores sigue siendo un misterio. Sin embargo, la Saga de Njál se ha convertido en un icono de la cultura islandesa, un verdadero tesoro nacional que resuena en todas las almas islandesas, al menos desde la época de los manuscritos en papel del siglo XVII en adelante. El tiempo de la historia de la Saga es aproximadamente desde mediados del siglo X hasta las primeras décadas del XI. Cuenta la historia de dos amigos, Gunnar Hámundarson y Njáll Þorgeirsson, Gunnar es el héroe y Njáll su mentor. Los problemas a los que se enfrentan son realmente muchos y complicados, pero la mayoría de ellos Njál logra abordar con su superior conocimiento de la ley. Gunnar es finalmente derrotado por sus enemigos y, como consecuencia, la granja de Njál se quema y la mayoría de su familia muere allí con él.

El nuevo héroe de la historia, Kári Sölmundarson, es el que escapa del incendio y comienza a buscar venganza para Njál y sus hijos, y su propio hijo, que murió en el fuego. Los pirómanos son asesinados uno por uno, y Kári busca especialmente a su líder, el cacique Flosi Þórðarson. Incluso la gran y última batalla de Brian Boru, gran rey de los irlandeses, se convierte en el telón de fondo de la venganza.

Finalmente, Kári y Flosi se encuentran, pero como hombres honorables que son, llegan a un acuerdo. Kári se casa con la sobrina de Flosi y Flosi se pierde más tarde en el mar.

La saga Njáls, como la mayoría de las Sagas, trata sobre el concepto de guerra y paz, honor y deshonra, mantener términos o romper los términos. En la saga de Njáls, las intrigas de la ley están al frente de cada disputa. Por lo tanto, podemos ver cómo la sociedad fue cambiando lentamente del aspecto violento de la resolución de disputas a la forma más civilizada. Pero la forma civilizada no excluye necesariamente la violencia, como todavía podemos ver a nuestro alrededor.

Debido a las muchas capas de la saga de Njáls, constantemente trae al lector algo nuevo. Los personajes son vívidos y extraíbles, muy humanos, muy complicados. Y debido al estilo de escritura de las Sagas, que nunca te muestra dentro de la mente de los personajes, sino solo lo que hacen o dicen, se vuelven extremadamente realistas, tanto que durante siglos los islandeses creyeron que realmente habían existido y que el saga era una historia de cosas que sucedieron en la realidad, tal como se cuenta en la saga. Muchos todavía lo hacen. Pero la saga de Njáls es ante todo una gran obra literaria, una de las más importantes escritas en Europa en la Edad Media, y da testimonio de su conocimiento del derecho y la historia de Islandia, por un lado, y por el otro un vasto conocimiento de la literatura europea.

En esta página comenzaré a armar una lista de personajes de la saga Njáls, para explicar sus relaciones entre ellos y tomar descripciones y citas de la saga.


Njals Saga en Modruvallabok - Historia

La batalla de Clontarf en la literatura islandesa

Aproximadamente 170 años después de la composición de la Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh, la batalla de Clontarf aparece en otro texto medieval, una obra literaria islandesa titulada La saga de Brennu Njál (de ahora en adelante referido como Saga de Njál). Este trabajo fue escrito C.1250-1280. Se desconoce el autor de este trabajo, pero los estudiosos han determinado definitivamente que fue creado en Islandia. Los eventos descritos en Saga de Njál supuestamente tuvo lugar unos 200-300 años antes de la redacción del texto, la mayoría entre C.960-1020.

La trama principal se refiere a los problemas que rodean la disputa de sangre, el asesinato por veneno y el código de honor dentro de la Islandia medieval. Los dos protagonistas principales de la saga, Njál y Gunnar, se encuentran con un final espeluznante e intempestivo debido a un ciclo interminable de enemistad y venganza principalmente instigado y sostenido por sus esposas. Gunnar es finalmente derrotado violentamente por sus enemigos y Njál se encuentra con un destino igualmente desastroso.

¿Sabías? El título nórdico antiguo de Saga de Njál, Brennu Njál, se traduce como 'La historia de Njál quemado' porque Njál y su familia mueren quemados en su casa

Mito e Historia

Saga de Njál, como el Cogadh, es de naturaleza literaria pero, como el texto anterior, su narrativa se ocupa de eventos y personas de veracidad histórica conocida o creída. Los estudiosos han intentado y en ocasiones han tenido éxito en confirmar la realidad de algunos de los eventos de la saga. Por ejemplo, las excavaciones relativas a un sitio llamado Bergthorshvol, la supuesta casa de Njál y su familia, muestran signos de ser incendiados, y esto confirma para algunos estudiosos la verdad de Saga de Njál relato de la desaparición de la familia.

El 'episodio de Clontarf' en la saga Njál

Brian Boru, Gormlaith, Sitric y otros aparecen en este texto en lo que los eruditos han llamado el 'Episodio Clontarf'. La serie de eventos es algo distinta del relato de la Cogadh.

Por ejemplo, Sitric es la principal fuerza opuesta a Brian Boru, a diferencia de Máel Mórda.

Además, la representación de Gormlaith es mucho más prominente e incuestionablemente negativa. Sin embargo, esto está muy en consonancia con los otros personajes femeninos de la saga, que son retratados principalmente como instigadores de la violencia en la disputa entre Njál y Gunnar. El papel de las mujeres incitadoras es un papel literario común de las mujeres en la tradición más amplia de las sagas nórdicas antiguas. En la cuenta de Clontarf que contiene Saga de Njál, un vikingo llamado Brođir fue responsable de la muerte de Brian.

Ahora Brodir vio que los hombres del rey Brian estaban persiguiendo a los volantes, y
que había pocos hombres en Shieldburg.

Luego salió corriendo del bosque y atravesó Shieldburg,
y atacó al rey.

El muchacho Takt tiró su brazo en el camino, y el golpe se lo quitó.
y la cabeza del rey también, pero la sangre del rey se derramó sobre la cabeza del muchacho.
muñón, y el muñón fue curado en el acto.

Entonces Brodir gritó en voz alta: "Ahora que el hombre le diga al hombre
que Brodir derribó a Brian ".

George Webbe Dasent, Saga de Njál, pág. 326-327.

Theodore M. Andersson, "El rey de Islandia". Espéculo, Vol. 74, núm. 4 (1 de octubre de 1999), págs. 923-934.

Zoe Borovsky, 'Never in Public: Women and Performance in Old Norse Literature' en The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 112, núm. 443 (1 de enero de 1999), págs. 6-39.

Alexander Bugge, 'El origen y la credibilidad de la saga islandesa' en The American Historical Review, Vol. 14 No. 2 (1 de enero de 1909), págs. 249-261.

Robert Cook, introducción. y trans. La saga de Njal (Londres, 2001).

Lars Lönnroth, La saga de Njal: una introducción crítica (Berkley, 1976).

Magnus Magnusson y Hermann Palsson, intro. y trans., La saga de Njal (Harmondstown, 1960).

William Ian Miller, Toma de sangre y establecimiento de la paz: disputa, derecho y sociedad en Saga Islandia (Chicago, 1990).

Harold Mytum, 'Los vikingos e Irlanda: cambio étnico, de identidad y cultural' en Contacto, continuidad y colapso: la colonización nórdica del Atlántico norte, editado por James H. Barrett (Turnhout, 2003), págs. 113-37.

Donnchadh Ó Corráin, 'Irlanda vikinga: Pensamientos posteriores' en Irlanda y Escandinavia en la era vikinga temprana, editado por Howard B Clarke, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh y Ragnall O’Floinn (Dublín, 1998), págs. 421-452.


Resumen de la saga de Njal y análisis de los capítulos 46-81

46 - Gizur el Blanco, un gran cacique, y Geir el Godi se apoyan mutuamente en todos los asuntos. El padre de Mord Valgardsson está en el extranjero y su madre, Unn, falleció. Como se presagió, Mord tomará medidas contra Gunnar.

47 - Un hombre llamado Otkel es rico en propiedades y tiene un hijo llamado Thorgeir que es joven pero se muestra prometedor. Su amigo, Skammkel, es malicioso y mentiroso. El hermano de Otkel, Hallkel, lleva a un esclavo irlandés, Melkolf, a su propiedad, pero resulta ser un mal trabajador. Últimamente están experimentando una hambruna y Gunnar ha sido muy amable al dar recursos a los que están sufriendo. Los suministros de Gunnar se agotan debido a su amabilidad y cuando se acerca a Otkel para comprar más heno, se encuentra con un rechazo total. Skammkel le ha aconsejado a Otkel que haga esto debido a su disgusto por los Sigfusson. En cambio, Gunnar paga por el esclavo Melkolf. Cuando Gunnar regresa, Njal ya ha escuchado la noticia y de manera proactiva le trajo heno y comida extra.

48 - Hallgerd le dice al nuevo esclavo que le robe la comida a Otkel y le prenda fuego a su cobertizo de almacenamiento. Otkel y todos los demás hombres libres de Islandia están en el Althing y todos los animales conocían a Melkolf, por lo que el plan se desarrolla sin alarma. Mientras corre de regreso a lo largo del río Ranga, tiene que arreglar su cordón roto y olvida su cuchillo y cinturón allí. Está demasiado nervioso para volver y agarrarlo. En el Althing, Otkel dice que el incendio fue causado porque la cocina estaba demasiado cerca del cobertizo de almacenamiento. Gunnar abofetea a Hallgerd cuando ella intenta servirle queso y mantequilla después del Althing, sabiendo que estos son bienes robados.

49 - Skammkel encuentra el cuchillo y confirma con Otkel que es de Melkolf. Van a Mord Valgardsson, quien dice que tiene secretos sobre la casa de Gunnar por un precio. Por tres onzas de plata, dice que enviará mujeres a la casa con regalos para las amas de casa y que, a cambio, las mujeres recibirán lo que Hallgerd más quiere deshacerse: los bienes robados. De hecho, las mujeres regresan con el queso que Hallgerd había intentado servir a Gunnar. Gunnar acude a Otkel y admite que conoce la fuente de este crimen. Ofrece a sus vecinos para hacer el juicio, pero Otkel se niega con el argumento de que son amigos de Gunnar. Gunnar ofrece pagar el doble del valor, pero Skammkel no quiere que Otkel permita el juicio propio. En cambio, buscan el juicio de Gizur el Blanco y Geir el Godi. Skammkel se ofrece a verlos en su lugar, y Otkel acepta. Hallbjorn, el sabio hermano de Otkel, encuentra esta decisión precipitada porque Skammkel es uno de los peores mentirosos del país y no transmitirá objetivamente los consejos de Gizur y Geir. Especulan sobre la voluntad de Gunnar de derramar sangre sobre el asunto.

50 - Skammkel les dice a Gizur y Geir que él y Otkel quieren que tengan el honor de decidir su curso, pero ven que Skammkel es un hombre malvado. De hecho, sigue adelante con su maldad diciéndole a Otkel que Gizur y Geir le aconsejaron que no hiciera un acuerdo en absoluto, que en su lugar trajera la demanda al Althing. Hallbjorn sabe que esto es mentira. Otkel y Skammkel llegan a la casa de Gunnar y lo convocan a la corte. Como de costumbre, Gunnar acepta, pero comenta que "no les traerá ningún honor". (87)

51 - En el Althing, Njal le dice a Gunnar que consulte a Hrut sobre cómo proceder. Hrut recomienda desafiar a Gizur a un duelo, en caso de que rechace una oferta de auto-juicio. El hermano de Gunnar, Kolskegg, también puede enfrentarse a Geir. Finalmente, Gizur se entera de la mentira de Skamkell, y va a ofrecer inmediatamente a Gunnar autojuicio. Mientras tanto, Skammkel yace enfermo en su tienda y todo el mundo habla de él. Cuando Gizur y Gunnar se encuentran, Gunnar casi rechaza el juicio propio por orgullo, pero Njal lo convence de aceptarlo. El asentamiento de Gunnar devolverá a Melkolf (ya que no se le informó de su maldad) y, en lugar de perder a este esclavo, se entregará a sí mismo el valor de la comida y el cobertizo. Por lo tanto, no se paga nada en el acuerdo, sin embargo, es un acuerdo de todos modos. Gizur intenta que Gunnar sea amigo de Otkel, pero dice que esto nunca sucederá.

52 - Runolf, un amigo de Otkel, quiere que Otkel lo visite para agradecerle el regalo de un buey hace algún tiempo. Otkel dice que vendrá. Un hombre llamado Audolf vive actualmente con Otkel.

53 - Otkel cabalga por fin a Runolf's, trayendo dos caballos que se dice que son los mejores de Islandia. Están muy emocionados y compiten entre sí. Otkel va más rápido de lo que pretendía y, sin las espuelas, se encuentra accidentalmente con Gunnar en el camino y le hace un gran corte en la oreja. Gunnar advierte a Otkel que la próxima vez que lo vea, su alabarda estará con él. Skammkel se burla de él y se marchan. Kolskegg se entera de este incidente mucho más tarde y dice que Gunnar debe informarlo por temor a que los testigos mueran con el tiempo. Runolf piensa que debería volver a casa con ellos por miedo a que se crucen con Gunnar por segunda vez, pero Otkel se niega. Runolf dice que esta será la última vez que se vean.

54 - Un pastor cabalga rápidamente hacia Gunnar para contarle el nuevo chisme de Skammkel: que Gunnar lloró cuando Otkel lo cortó. Dice que ha visto a los hombres cruzar más lejos por el río y que podrían atraparlos, pero Gunnar advierte: "No nos dejemos vencer por sus palabras" (91). Gunnar saca la alabarda esa noche y suena fuerte. Lo clava en el suelo y se sube a su caballo. Nunca antes nadie había visto a Gunnar tan enojado como ahora. Hallbjorn, el hermano sabio, es el primero en atacar a Gunnar a pesar de que se lamenta de asumir la responsabilidad de Otkel. De mala gana, Gunnar corta el brazo de Hallbjorn en la muñeca. En este momento, Skammkel acelera hacia él con su gran hacha. Gunnar tranquilamente golpea el hacha de su mano y empuja la alabarda a través de Skammkel, levantando todo su cuerpo sobre su eje. Envía a Skammkel sobre su cabeza. Audolf lanza una lanza a Gunnar, pero Gunnar la atrapa en el aire y la lanza directamente a través de Audolf y su escudo. Gunnar salta sobre el golpe de Otkel y le atraviesa el estómago con una lanza. Kolskegg es el último en ayudar a Gunnar. Matan a ocho hombres en total. Una testigo mujer corre a contárselo a Mord y él dice que no le importa nada a pesar de que las víctimas son sus parientes.

55 - Njal le da a Gunnar un consejo sobre cómo avanzar en su carrera de asesinatos: "Nunca mates más de una vez dentro del mismo linaje, y nunca rompas ningún acuerdo que los hombres buenos hagan entre tú y los demás" (94). Gunnar siente curiosidad por saber si el profético Njal, que parece ser capaz de predecir el futuro, conoce su propia muerte. He does, and describes it as "something people will least expect" (94). Gizur and Geir draw lots to see which of them has to bring about the suit, because neither of them wants to do so. Geir draws the short straw and they both proceed to dig up the bodies, name witnesses, and make a summons.

56 - Skafti and his father Thorodd are great experts in the law and followers of Gizur. They stand as lawyers with Geir at Law Rock to announce the suits against Gunnar and Kolskegg. Gunnar responds to the testimony with his own, which invalidates the whole proceeding. He claimed Otkel as an outlaw the moment he sliced his head with his spur, so no compensation can be had for his death. Furthermore, Gunnar announces that Geir himself should be made a lesser outlaw, forcing him to live in exile for three years, because he brought up the case of a man who was killed without proper claims to the case. Njal explains to Gunnar that Geir's argument is strong and he should not oppose with such fortitude, because he is guilty of murdering these men. Njal also threatens Geir with full outlawry and bids them both to settle these cases. Gizur thinks that Gunnar has too many allies and it would be unwise to shirk a settlement if possible. Otkel is not compensated because of the spur wound he delivered Skammkel is not compensated and the other men are given reasonable compensations based on their individual worths. Gunnar leaves more honorable, having secured Geir and Gizur's pledges of peace.

57 - This chapter introduces Starkad and Hallbera, whose sons, Thorgeir, Bork, and Thorkel, are violent and mean-spirited. Their sister is Hildigunn the Healer.

58 - This chapter introduces Egil, whose sons, Kol, Ottar, and Hauk, are also trouble-makers. Their sister Gudrun Night-sun is very well-mannered, however. The men leave Norway to Iceland for the first time and look around for somebody's horse to fight their own, believing that they have the strongest horse in the realm. Hildigunn says that Gunnar's horse is better. The men respond boastfully, although their father reminds them that Gunnar's good luck is unflappable. Gunnar agrees to the fight on the condition that he never be shamed by these men and that the fight should be for the entertainment of others. Njal says that many men will die as a result of this fight and that this will only provide further hostility within the Norwegian men's family down the line.

59 - Hoskuld Dala-Koll dies. Thorgerd and Thrain have a child whom they name Hoskuld, based on Hallgerd's recommendation. At the horse fight, Skarphedin wants to prod Gunnar's horse so they will have control of its emotion, but Gunnar doesn't want this. As is custom, Gunnar stands on the sideline with a stick to provoke the horses if need be, but it is not needed. When the Norwegian men push their horse, Gunnar pushes back. His horse runs down the other one on top of the men, and they spring up to attack Gunnar. He tosses Kol Egilsson aside, knocking him unconscious. Thorgeir beats Gunnar's horse's eye out before Gunnar can knock him unconscious as well. Gunnar orders Kolskegg to kill his own eyeless horse. Thorgeir tries to rush at Gunnar with his weapon, but a large crowd holds him back. Njal tries to give an offering of peace, but Thorgeir rejects it. Gunnar stands up calmly and the crowd is overcome with peace.

60 - Asgrim, a great lawyer, brings a case forward at the Althing only to discover that he has not brought enough witnesses to press an inheritance lawsuit. Gunnar stands up for Asgrim, offering to duel the defendant, Ulf Uggason. Ulf pays the fine instead. Asgrim says he will always be on Gunnar's side of the law. When Gunnar is invited to both Asgrim's and Olaf's homes in the next season, Njal warns him to always travel in large numbers and to be heavily armed. Gunnar doesn't follow this advice.

61 - Gunnar, Kolskegg, and Jort ride fully armored to Asgrim's with their best weapons. Sigurd Swine-head, a neighbor, spies on Gunnar during his time at Asgrim's and he tells Starkad when he is getting ready to leave. These men are planning an ambush of thirty men against the three of them. Thorgeir promises to bring back evidence of Gunnar's death. Hildigunn the Healer does not think they will succeed. Through taunts, the men gain a few Norwegian followers including Thorir, but they are all aware that is will be their death.

62 - Gunnar becomes very sleepy near the Thjorsa river and has a dream. Kolskegg makes sure that he isn't woken. Gunnar dreams that many wolves ambushed him twice in a row, forcing him to kill almost every one of them, but he could not help his third brother Hjort from being ripped open, his heart in the mouth of a wolf. Gunnar slices that wolf in two but it does not save Hjort's life. He recommends that Hjort go back to Asgrim's home, but he refuses, knowing full well that he will die as a result of this decision to stay by Gunnar's side. They continue on to the spot on the river where his dream had taken place.

63 - Swine-head is the first to be killed: Gunnar shoots an arrow through his shield, into his eye, and out the back of his neck. Kolskegg throws a heavy stone and it breaks another man's skull. Starkad wisely assesses that Gunnar and his team are too skilled with long-distance weapons, and they must charge if they want to stand a chance. Thorgeir says he vowed to bring Hildigunn Gunnar's head, but Gunnar says he must get closer to do so. Gunnar fends the men off even as they charge, flinging their weapons out of their hands with each blow. Thorkel's head goes flying with another strike. Kol wants to fight Kolskegg very badly. He thrusts his spear through Kolskegg's thigh, but Kolskegg quickly takes off Kol's leg with his short sword, which kills him. Gunnar conducts another signature stab and toss with his halberd, this time on Egil. Starkad eggs Thorir on, who was reluctant to come in the first place, knowing that it would be his death. He attacks Hjort in the chest and kills him at once. As predicted, Gunnar slices Thorir in two at the waist directly thereafter. Gunnar and Kolskegg continue to dominate the battle, separating heads and limbs from bodies one after the other. As Starkad flees, Gunnar chases them down to give them wounds. He says that it will be difficult for them to tell good stories about the battle without some blood to show. Gunnar buries Hjort at his home and many people mourn this loss. Hildigunn reprimands Starkad for not following her original advice to stay on good terms with Gunnar.

64 - Gunnar asks Njal what to do regarding all these killings. Njal thinks for a while and comes up with a plan: he has two cases to prosecute (Thorgeir impregnating his kinswoman and the Starkadarssons cutting wood on the edge of his property), but he will give the cases to Gunnar, which will put him in a better position to claim the dead men as outlaws at the time of their killing. This should diminish their compensations to zero in a settlement. He goes into further detail about what to do in the case of objections.

65 -Thorgeir comes to Valgard the Grey and Mord to ask for their help, thinking it ridiculous for Gunnar to have claimed all those men outlaws. Valgard is reluctant to help because he knows that this was not the end of Njal's advice to Gunnar and that it may get nastier. Nevertheless, they help Valgard for a high sum. Mord is to marry Thorkatla, daughter of Gizur the White, and they all ride off to make this happen. When Gunnar finds out, he consults with Njal once more. Njal says that Gunnar must bring about a suit against the late Kol for killing Hjort then he should summon Thorgeir on a charge of seduction as well.

66 - Gunnar and Njal arrive at the Thing with a massive group and join up with Geir and Gizur. Mord questions Gunnar's ability to pursue any cases at Law Rock because of his outrageous murders, thinking him better suited to being an outlaw. Njal says that he has all the legal rights of any other man, citing his gift of full compensation to his plaintiffs last autumn. Njal states furthermore that because Gunnar's enemies had intent to kill him, there is no legal redress for his self-defense: those attackers were outlaws. A man named Hjalti comes forward and offers that Gunnar let the good men present come to a settlement on these issues. Gunnar agrees under the condition that Hjalti himself will never be against Gunnar going forth. Many compensations are cancelled out, but the remaining ones are weighted at half-compensation (100 ounces of silver). Njal helps Gunnar pay with money he had on loan to Starkad. Gunnar comes away as the most honorable man in the South Quarter.

67 - Thorgeir Otkelsson grows up to be an honest and worthy man, despite his father's ills. But Thorgeir Starkadarson meanwhile is displeased with the result of the lawsuits. He consults Mord, who suggests a number of ways in which Gunnar can be seen to have broken settlements. One settlement involves Thorgier Otkelsson and a plot of land. Mord knows that Njal has predicted Gunnar's downfall if he slays two members of the same bloodline, so if Mord can get Gunnar to slay Thorgeir Otkelsson, it should also lead to Gunnar's death.

68 - Thorgeir Starkadarson meets with Thorgeir Otkelsson to flatter him and give him gifts. He gives him a spear inlaid with gold and rides home. A suit about land ownership involving Gunnar is settled at the Thing. Much time passes therafter. The Thorgeirs grow even closer. Gunnar knows of their malevolence for him, and when he sends off all his workers to make hay at Eyjar, Thorgeir Starkadarson finally convinces Thorgeir Otkelsson to attack Gunnar with him. Otkelsson is wise enough to be reluctant, but not wise enough to say no.

69 - When the Thorgeirs come to Gunnar's house, they hide out in the woods before "heaviness came over them and they could do nothing but sleep" (115). Off at Eyjar, some sheep get away and Skarphedin and Thorhild Njalsson go out to find them. They come back without the sheep but with news of the twenty-four men sleeping in the woods by Gunnar's house. Njal says he just had a dream about these men's spirit animals, but that they were frenzied and had no plan. Njal tells Skarphedin and Thorhild to let Gunnar know of the circumstances and to send for more men meanwhile, Njal will scare the men away. He does so by confronting them and exaggerating the forces that Gunnar has waiting for them.

70 - Njal is asked to arbitrate a settlement about this encounter. Mord rebukes the Thorgeirs for asking for Njal's help. Njal makes a famous statement at Law Rock during the proceeding: "with law our land shall rise, but it will perish with lawlessness" (117). The case is settled with all of the conspiring men paying 100 ounces of silver and the Thorgeirs paying 200 each. Olaf Peacock hosts Gunnar at his home after the Althing and gives him three gifts: a gold ring, a cloak which the king of Iceland once owned, and an Irish dog as a companion. Olaf says the dog will bark at all enemies, but never at a friend.

71 - The Thorgeirs go back to Mord to come up with another plan to get at Gunnar. He says that Otkelsson should seduce another of Gunnar's kinswomen and they will plan an attack on Gunnar after rumors are spread about Gunnar's malevolence toward them for this seduction. They must attack Gunnar away from his home now, because his dog is wary of intruders. Finally, the moment arises and they bring thirteen men down to the Ranga river to ambush Gunnar once again.

72 - "[A] great deal of blood appeared on the halberd" (119) at the beginning of Chapter 72, and Kolskegg is perplexed by it. Gunnar says it foreshadows a great battle. They come across the men and quickly take out their bows, killing a few right away. But more men follow them, and a great battle begins. Gunnar breaks through a man's shield, piercing him with his halberd, while another man has his legs cut off by Kolskegg just before he can attack Gunnar from behind. This man falls into the river and drowns. Thorgeir Starkadarson taunts Thorgeir Otkelsson, saying that it almost seems like he has no father to avenge. Otkelsson rushes Gunnar and manages to pierce his arm, but Gunnar quickly breaks his spear in two. He kills another man and sees Otkelsson coming at him again with a sword. Gunnar uses his signature move on him: he thrusts the halberd through him, picks him up with it, and tosses his body far into the river. The body floats down to a rock downriver and is henceforth called Thorgeir's Ford after Thorgeir Otkelsson. The ambushers retreat. Kolskegg wants to follow them, but Gunnar says it will certainly break the bank to have to pay for so many dead men, not to mention the ones they've already killed today. Rannveig, Gunnar's mother, says that bad will come of these killings, even though Hallgerd is very pleased with them.

73 - Njal tells Gunnar that he has now broken one of the guiding principles for a long life: he has killed two men in the same bloodline. Njal will represent his cause at the Thing. At Law Rock Gizur proposes giving Gunnar full outlawry as punishment for his crime in killing Thorgeir Otkelsson. His property should be split up among the men and he should not be fed on his way out of the country.

74 - Njal responds to this proposition by asking all the witnesses whether the Thorgeirs had planned the ambush with the intention of killing Gunnar. Naturally, they all declare that this was true. The case is settled monetarily, but part of the settlement also requires Gunnar to leave under lesser outlawry for three years. If he is caught still in the country, he may be killed with impunity by relatives of the slain. Gunnar gives no indication that he finds this settlement unfair, and he pays the dues. Njal says that this trip abroad will bring him even more honor than the last one and he will live to become an old man, but if he should break the settlement, he will be killed. Rannveig is relieved that Gunnar's enemies will have to pick on somebody else for a while when he is gone.

75 - Thrain Sigfusson and the Njalssons have separate plans to go abroad at the same time as Gunnar. Gunnar and Kolskegg get Gunnar ready to go, but when his horse slips and he is ejected from the saddle, he has a lapse in judgment. He looks back at Hlidarendi, his farm, and thinks it has never been lovelier. He decides to stay against Kolskegg and Njal's wishes. Kolskegg pleads with him to go, but Gunnar is settled in his decision. Kolskegg says he will never return to Iceland because he will be sure to hear the report of Gunnar's death if he does. Gizur and Geir declare Gunnar a full outlaw, meaning that anybody can kill him without redress. Njal knows that after Gunnar's death, the antagonism will be directed at his sons he advises Gunnar of this so that he might take them on right away. Gunnar declines. He asks that Njal look after his son Hogni and pay no attention to his other son, Grani, who acts like his mother. Gunnar is safe for the time being.

76 - Mord conspires to take Gunnar by surprise with another ambush by kidnapping the neighbor farmer, Thorkel, as well as the dog, Sam. They make Thorkel get the dog, so as to draw less suspicion. This does not work because the dog senses suspicion and bites Thorkel in the groin. Onund kills the dog with an axe to the head, but it lets out a loud howl "that was like none they had heard before" before dying (126).

77 - Gunnar wakes in the house and says that his death will be like the death of his dog, whom he calls his foster-child. He sleeps in a loft above the hall together with Hallgerd and his mother. Thorgrim is sent to the hall to see if Gunnar is at home. Gunnar sees his red cloak and stabs at it with the halberd from the darkness. Thorgrim reports that he is not sure if Gunnar is home, but his halberd is. Then he falls down dead. Gunnar shoots arrows at the ambushers, exhausting them into taking a rest. This happens three times, but they just cannot compete with his wall of arrows. Gunnar even takes one of the enemies' arrows to use against them in a taunt. Gizur takes the taunt as a call to charge. Mord wants to burn down the hall, but Gizur says that that would be far too dishonorable. Instead, they cut at the ropes that hold the house up. In this way, they manage to take the whole roof off the hall. Thorbrand Thorleiksson rushes at Gunnar and is able to cut the string on his bow before getting impaled by the halberd. Once more, Mord suggests burning the hall. Gizur rejects this vehemently once again. Gunnar kills Thorbrand's brother by throwing him from the roof scaffolding with the halberd.

In the seminal climactic moment, Gunnar asks Hallgerd for a lock of her hair so that he may restring his bow. He knows he can hold them off so long as he keeps them at a distance. She asks how important this is, and he says his life depends on it. She responds with the harrowing: "Then I'll recall. the slap you gave me, and I don't care whether you hold out for a long or a short time" (128). Gunnar defends himself well and goes on fighting for a long time until he collapses from weariness. At last, Gunnar is killed. Thorkel Elfaraskald writes a poem about Gunnar's brave defense.

Gizur asks Rannveig for land to bury the dead men in. She says that she would have liked to give them more land in the case that they all died. Gizur says she has many reasons to say this, and she is thankful for the land.

78 - Njal is distressed over the death of his friend, as are the Sigfussons. No legal redress is possible because Gunnar was an outlaw at the time of his death. Gunnar is buried sitting up. Rannveig says the halberd will go to whoever can avenge his death, but nobody takes it. She is so angry with Hallgerd that she almost kills her. Hallgerd flees with her son Grani. Hogni takes over Hlidarendi, the estate that drove Gunnar home when he should have left. One day a shepherd and servant hear Gunnar reciting verses in the mound in a joyful mood. They tell Rannveig about this, and she says to tell Njal. They repeat the verse three times to him. Njal sends Skarphedin to stay at Hlidarendi to make sure this is true. Skarphedin becomes good friends with Hogni one night when they are out by Gunnar's mound, it seems that Gunnar has turned around to look at the moon, and four lights start to burn in the mound without shadows. The apparition of Gunnar looks happy as it recites a poem. Skarphedin says that he has been waiting for Hogni to witness this because otherwise, he would never believe it. Hogni says that he would have believed Njal, because it is said he never lies. Skarphedin promises to help Hogni in any endeavor thereafter.

79 - Hogni and Skarphedin sneak out at night with the halberd, but it makes its ringing sound. Rannveig recognizes the sound and tells Hogni that he cannot bring the halberd to Gunnar until he avenges him with it, citing the sound that announces death. Two ravens follow the men their whole way to meet Oddi and his sons, all of whom they kill very quickly. Since Oddi had been herding sheep, they do well by imitating sheep as they continue on. They encounter Starkad and Thorgeir, both of whom try to run away however, they cannot get away quick enough and are quickly killed. When they see Hof in a field, he offers peace and full reconciliation. Hogni had not intended to give self-judgment, but he is convinced otherwise: Hof lives.

80 - Njal presses the case of the slaying of Starkad and Thorgeir, but Mord owes many people money and ends up paying the compensation and reconciling. Geir the Godi and Hogni also complete a settlement whereby they make peace and Geir stays at Hlidarendi for the rest of his life. He is now out of the saga. Njal arranges a marriage between Hogni and the daughter of Veturlidi the Poet. It is said that Hogni keeps up his friendship with Njal Hogni is now out of the saga.

81 - Kolskegg, who left before Gunnar's death, travels to Norway and then Denmark, where he enters the service of King Svein Fork-beard and receives great honor. Kolskegg has a dream one night that a man made of gleaming light offers to find him a wife and make him a knight. A wise man tells him that he is to become "God's knight" in the southern lands (133). Kolskegg is baptized and heads to Constantinople where he spends the rest of his days in the Varangian guard. He is now out of the saga.

Analysis

There is a recurring line in this section that one might not expect: "He stayed at home for a while, and all was quiet" (118). While this section is densely packed with taunts, plots, and brutal killings, it takes place over a long period of time, which can be difficult to remember or even fathom. It seems that the base unit of time in the saga is not a day or even a week, but rather a whole season. This framing helps to explain why in some cases prominent characters can be 'out of the saga' long before dying or, in other cases, they are out of the saga because they die from old age. Unn is not even named when it is said she dies in this section, and Hoskuld, an extremely important character earlier in the saga, is given only two sentences upon his death: one that states he is dead, and another that states this was a sad event.

Names also gain a new dimension in this section because of the character Skammkel, which is an Icelandic homonym for 'shame'. This makes sense considering the rumor he started about Gunnar weeping when Otkel accidentally put a gash in his ear. His name is shame and he not only shames others, but also commits shameful acts like lying to Gizur and Geir and then immediately lying about what they said to Otkel and Njal. The moral involved with this naming is that friendship is only as good as its ability to improve one's character. Many of the shameful characters throughout the saga are said to be a bad influence on good characters. In the case of Gunnar and Njal, their friendship is only as good as Gunnar's ability to adhere to his friend's advice, knowing that he will never bear a grudge against him or suggest anything that is not in his best interest. Gunnar believes this and yet still disobeys, which is an astounding moment for the reader.

Why would Gunnar, who knows that Njal bears 'second sight' (the ability to foresee the future), disobey something so basic as serving his settlement? This seems to invoke the famous bible verse: "Pride goeth before destruction, and a high mind before the fall" (Proverbs 16.18). At its core, Njal's Saga seeks to demonstrate a multitude of moral lapses and achievements. Having the gift of foresight is important in the saga insofar as the fore-tellings also uncover moral quandaries and the solution to those quandaries. Oftentimes they are unsatisfactory. When so many dishonorable characters can get so much out of the protagonists, it makes the reader question how beneficial the solutions are that are being offered. Again, this moral answer is quite aligned with a biblical verse: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also" (Matthew 5.39). Later on, this connection to Christianity will become clearer, but for now, it is an intriguing aspect of what purports to be essentially a history of Iceland.

Along with names, language itself gains a proper place in the saga through repetition. A single sentence, "Brave riding, brother" (93), gains two meanings when used as first as a compliment and then secondly as a sarcastic taunt. Another repetition that cannot be missed is the detailed court proceedings. One could easily become a competent Icelandic lawyer by studying Njal's Saga. The typical pop-culture viking is hardly imagined as a lawyer, and yet he is not a good viking if he is not a good lawyer, as far as this saga is concerned. The terminology 'viking' is also somewhat problematic, because while Gunnar and many of the other protagonists raid and collect booty, they never call themselves 'vikings'—only 'enemy raiders'. Possibly the hardest linguistic repetition in this section, however, is the incessant back-and-forth retaliations between the wives of Gunnar and Njal. Their friendship is tested so much that the reader can hardly take it, let alone the characters.

This section also excels in wit and aphorism. As the taunts grow stronger, so does the cleverness of the taunters. In Chapter 61, Hildigunn aphoristically suggests that her brother "will be carrying both head and hand low when you come from this encounter [with Gunnar]" (103), and in Chapter 62, during that encounter, Kol says, "Are you going to run away, Gunnar?" and is answered with "Ask that when this day is done" (105). Finally, after Gunnar chops off Kol's leg, he asks, "Did that hit you or not?" (106). Kolskegg follows up with, "You don't need to look: it's just as you think, the leg is gone" (107). These gibes could have come straight out of a modern blockbuster, and yet here they are 10 centuries earlier in Njal's Saga.


SCANDINAVIAN 220: Early Scandinavian Literature – The Sagas of Möðruvallabók

The manuscript Möðruvallabók (AM 132 fol., 1330–70) contains eleven sagas of Icelanders and is arguably the most important compilation of such sagas. The eleven sagas will be read as they are preserved in the manuscript and considered as individual texts and as parts of the larger compilation. Comparison with standard editions of the various sagas will allow for considerations concerning manuscript variation, textual criticism, new philology, and editorial choices. Readings from the new Routledge Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas will highlight current trends in saga scholarship.

Texts: The sagas of Möðruvallabók (Njáls saga, Egils saga, Finnboga saga, Bandamanna saga, Kormáks saga, Víga-Glúms saga, Droplaugarsona saga, Ǫlkofra saga, Hallfreðar saga, Laxdœla saga y Fóstbrœðra saga) will be read in Old Norse. Secondary readings in will be in English, German, Icelandic and Modern Scandinavian Languages and include the new Routledge Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (ed. Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson 2017).

Prerequisites: At least two semesters of Old Norse language studies (or equivalent).


Njals Saga: A Fictional Account Of Early Iceland Essay

Njal’s Saga: A Fictional Account Of Early IcelandNjal’s Saga: A Fictional Account of Early Iceland“The origin and evolution of saga writing in Iceland are largely matters for speculation. A common pastime on Icelandic farms, from the 12th century down to modern times, was the reading aloud of stories to entertain the household, known as sagnaskemmtun (“saga entertainment”). It seems to have replaced the traditional art of storytelling” (Hermann Palsson, pg.

1). Njal’s Saga uses Old Icelandic writing convention and historical data to give a fictional account of a generation’s lifestyle and struggles. Icelandic literature has become very valuable because historians have realized the great amount of truth that can be found in each saga. According to one historian, the sagas have proven to be of “valuable insight into the fabric of a unique medieval community” (Gary Martin, pg.

1). During the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, there were about “forty sagas written by various anonymous Icelanders” (Gary Martin, pg. 1). Each used a combination of historical facts and drama to create Nowell, 2sagas that tracked generations of people.

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Historically, the first people to travel to Iceland were from Norway. According to Gary Martin, they were “surprised to find such a plentiful land” (pg. 1). Not only did they farm, but they also collected food and supplies from the nearby ocean.

There are quite a few sagas that reveal the true historical society of Iceland. “Egil’s Saga records how, on arrival, the settler Skallagrim and his companions ‘went out fishing and seal-hunting, and collecting the eggs of wild foul, for there was plenty of everything” (Gary Martin, pg. 1). In Iceland, the immigrants held to the farming traditions that they had in Norway, so not much changed in the transition. One historian noted, “Iceland, like much of Norway, was essentially country for pastoralists. Short growing seasons made the cultivation of grains marginal” (Gary Martin, pg.

1). Animal products provided the mainstay of the Icelandic diet. An emphasis on dairy cattle and sheep meant that lamb and beef and dairy products such as cheese and whey were relatively plentiful, “especially following good seasons” (Gary Martin, pg. 2)Despite the abundance of food, as more settlers came, the resources were slowly depleted:The following episode from Grettir’s Saga is likely to have been typical: ‘as soon as Eirik knew that Onund had arrived he offered to give him anything he wanted, and added that there was not much land still unclaimed.

Onund said he would like first to see Nowell, 3what land was available. So they went south across the fjords, and when they reached Ofaera, Eirik said, ‘Now you can have a look at it. From here on the land is unclaimed up to Bjorn’s settlement. (Gary Martin, p.

2). Clearly this famine was a historical, recorded event since there are also reports of a shortage of foodstuffs in Njal’s Saga. “This was a time of great famine in Iceland, and all over the country people were going short of hay and food” (Njal’s Saga, Ch. 47). So it is clear that Njal’s Saga includes some factual information, yet still remains a fictional narrative.

Instead of creating a form of law enforcement, the Icelanders usually took matters into their own hands. This is can be seen in the many killings that occur in Njal’s Saga. The Icelandic people had developed a feud system, which was largely based on family and relationships. Being friends or related to someone meant that you stood up for him and defended him at all costs. The importance was not necessarily the individual, but the family name. Lars Lonnroth saw this and commented, “The Feud Pattern emerges from a previous state of balance in the relationship between two families.

A cause for conflict is presented, and the feud breaks out as members of one family commit a punitive act against members of another family” (Lars Lonnroth, pg. 69). This is also clearly seen and recorded in Njal’s Saga when Njal is burned for the sake of his family. Nowell, 4Another interesting aspect of this story is that midway through the saga, Christianity is introduced.

The values and morals upheld by Christianity are very different from those of the Icelandic culture. The Christian value system is based on love, specifically the love God has for people. It is also founded on people’s love for God and for one another. This calls for forgiveness of those who have wronged you and for an attitude of fairness and submission to God. The differences between the two moral systems may have influenced the writer since Njal’s Saga was written years after the Christians came into Iceland. GRAMO.

Turville-Petre notes” but at times the Christian outlook dominates in the Njal’s Saga forgiveness triumphs over vengeance” (G. Turville-Petre, pg. 251). It is interesting that religion was a major influence on the Icelandic writing. It seems that when Christianity came into the picture, the Icelanders took the best of both worlds. They still maintained the feud system, which allowed murder, yet still, acted in the name of God, even violently.

Even before Christianity came, the Icelanders had already developed their pagan religion. Hermann Palsson remarked: “The learned men of medieval Iceland took great pride in their pagan past and copied traditional poems on mythological and legendary themes” (Hermann Palsson, pg. 3). Perhaps, they were content with their previous religion, but found comfort in the idea of one God who they could call upon when they were in trouble.

Or perhaps they wanted to Nowell, 5sound more spiritual and righteous in what they were doing. Once again, a very factual event and state of mind which was so carefully captured by the author. It seems that the author had access to Iceland’s historical records. He then utilized his literary skill to create fantastic stories that encompassed the history and values of his medieval community, thus producing Njal’s Saga. “In the late 12th century, Icelandic authors began to fictionalize the early part of their history (c. 900-1050), and a new literary genre was born: the sagas of Icelanders” (Hermann Palsson, pg.

4). Many of the sagas written were similar in that they were used merely for entertainment purposes and were based on true history. So by comparing these with the documents that are strictly historical, it becomes clear how much of the truth was actually embellished to please the audience using very clever literary devices. The sagas are written stories that are based in factual data, but some of the accounts have been construed or completely made up to satisfy the strong oral tradition that was used. “Though a good deal of the subject matter was evidently derived from oral tradition and thus of historical value for the period described, some of the best sagas are largely fictional their relevance to the author’s own times mattered perhaps no less than their incidental information about the past” (Hermann Palsson, pg. 4).

These sagas were used merely for Nowell, 6entertainment purposes so when the storyteller would run out of things to say, or need to make something more interesting, he would embellish a true story, or make up a false story. It was also not uncommon for the storyteller to add spiritual elements for a bit of mysticism and excitement. The structure of Njal’s Saga may be very telling about the history of Iceland during this time period. According to E. G. Turville-Petre, “the author of Njal’s Saga must have also consulted genealogical lists, and books about early Icelandic Law” (G.

Turville-Petre, pg. 250). This is very interesting because he suggests that there were earlier writings and writing styles. There also might have been different government or feud systems that the author had to learn about.

“The presentation of a new character may be lengthened through extensive genealogies, characterizing adjectives, etc. ” (Lars Lonnroth, pg. 50). There is a definite style evident in the saga that is much like a newspaper report. The reader feels as if the story is just a compilation of events without a common theme between them.

The use of genealogy type writing can be very confusing, but implies that outside information was consulted so that the narrative is not entirely fictional. The author of Njal’s Saga also uses characterization to enhance the plot of this literary work:Nowell, 7It is mostly through valour and heroic exploits that the typical hero’s personality is realized. He is, however, often a composite character, for some of his features are borrowed from a later and more refined ethos than that of early Scandinavia. He is in fact the synthesis of Viking ideals on the one hand and of codes of courtly chivalry on the other. (Hermann Palsson, pg.

3). So, Gunnar is immediately portrayed as a grand hero. He seems almost super-human as “he could strike of throw with either hand, and his sword-strokes were so fast that he seemed to be brandishing three swords at once” (Njal’s Saga, pg. 73). Clearly he is strong and handsome, typical for his role as the gallant hero. The author also focuses on Gunnar’s outward appearance, which suggests that while he is fantastically strong and courageous, he may lack mental sharpness.

E. O. G. Turville-Petre remarks “Gunnar is brave, loyal, and open-handed, but being guileless he also lacks wit. This weakness makes him dependent on his friend Njal, a man of very different stamp” (E. O.

G. Turville-Petre, pg. V). Njal “was so skilled in law that no one was considered his equal. He was a wise and prescient man” (pg.

74). The introduction of Njal into the saga is also very noble yet focuses on his intellectual ability rather than physical strength. Our first impression of Njal is also super-human, almost god-like, as he is “prescient”. Nowell, 8Our attention is also drawn in a negative way to Njal’s physical appearance.

It is recorded that, “Njal was wealthy and handsome, but he had one peculiarity: he could not grow a beard” (pg. 74). During Icelandic times a man’s beard was a symbol of his masculinity, so this characteristic of Njal is very revealing. Perhaps it is a foreshadowing that Njal was not going to live a full life because he cannot grow a full beard. Or perhaps it is a sign of physical or emotional weakness.

Although author of Njal’s Saga is still unknown. Yet the literary devices he used are very entertaining. One of the most common throughout the saga is the litote, which serves to express the drama of a situation. This literary device is specifically crucial in the saga because it explains the fictionalization of history.

A litote is defined as an “understatement” and an example of this from Njal’s Saga is given concerning Hebridean: “he had killed many men and paid compensation for none of them” (Njal’s Saga, pg. 56). This device was probably unknown to the author due to the fact that a written tradition was not yet established. It is used quite often throughout the saga and serves to embellish a character’s positive or negative attributes. The literary devices and combination of history and fiction seen in Njal’s Saga are quite revolutionary for the time period in which it was written. Though no one will ever truly know whom the author of Njal’s Saga is, the amazing characteristics of this saga, the splendid portrayal of characters, the use of spiritual elements, and the historical Nowell, 9data contribute to the author’s unparalleled style.

Njal’s Saga is undoubtedly unique, and speaks of the traditions and virtues upheld by the very first Icelanders. BibliographyWorks CitedLonnroth, Lars. Njal’s Saga: A Critical Introduction. Berkeley: U of California P, 1976. 43-69. Martin, Gary.

Food and Feud in Saga Iceland. 1998. University of Adelaide. 10 Apr. , 2001.

Njal’s Saga. Trans. Magnus Magnusson and Hermann Palsson. London: Penguin, 1960.

Palsson, Hermann. Saga. 1999-2001. Britannica.

com Inc. 25 Apr. , 2001. Turville-Petre, E. O.

G. Introduction. The Story of Burnt Njal. Trans. Sir George Webbe Dasent. London: Aldine P, 1911.

5-11. Turville-Petre, G. Origins of Icelandic Literature. Oxford: Clarendon, 1967. 249-253.History Essays


Ugh, no more Murders

Not into murder mysteries? Don&rsquot worry. Iceland has a whole variety of other authors. Like the poet and novelist Steinunn Sigurðardóttir. Her first book Tímaþjófurinn (&lsquoThe Thief of Time&rsquo), an unusual love story beautifully infused with her poetry, was turned in to a French film in 1999.

The poet, novelist and lyricist Sjón has been active on the Icelandic music scene since the early 1980s. He was even featured as a guest vocalist on a Sugarcubes single Luftgitar (The Sugarcubes were an alternative rock group, formed in 1986 comprised of Björk and other cool people).

Sjón has published many poetry books, novels and novellas. His story, Skugga-Baldur or &lsquoThe Blue Fox&rsquo has been turned into a one-woman play, which is quite a feat considering the story is about a man, Shadow-Baldur, who is hunting a fox in the harsh Icelandic landscape, a botanist and his adopted daughter.

A few novelists have been busy collecting awards and nominations both in Iceland and all over the world. Authors such as Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, Andri Snær Magnason and Gerður Kristný.

If you are in the mood for a laugh, you can check out the hilarious stick figure cartoons of Hugleikur Dagsson. Hugleikur has written several offensive comics such as &lsquoShould you be laughing at this?&rsquo, &lsquoAvoid us&rsquo and &lsquoI hate dolphins&rsquo.

A friend of Hugleikur and an all-around funny girl Lóa Hlín Hjálmtýsdóttir is a comic book writer whose book &lsquoGeneralizations about Nations&rsquo will show you what people actually think about your country. As well as being the lead singer in the popular band FM Belfast, Lóa Hlín has written (and drawn) several comics in her Lóaboratorium which show little slices of life in a hilarious and inappropriate way.

  • Hugleikur's wit earned him a spot in Top 10 sexiest men in Iceland 2015
  • You might find Lóa Hlín and FM Belfast at a festival, check out The Top 10 Festivals in Iceland

So if you want to read an Icelandic book, you have a lot to choose from. Everything from ancient Viking Sagas to Nobel Prize winners and offensive cartoons. What are some of your favourite Icelandic books?


Ver el vídeo: Sagalong2021: Njals Saga. Chapters 41-80 (Mayo 2022).