Within and without family in the Icelandic sagas

Gislason, Kari (2009) Within and without family in the Icelandic sagas. Parergon, 26(1), pp. 13-33.

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The Icelandic sagas reflect a deep social interest in the nature of family obligations. Narrative tension and drama often result from carefully plotted increases in competition between families,while considerable space is given over to family biographies and genealogical information. As a result, the saga authors’ conception of the historical seems closely bound to a desire to represent family life. In Gísla saga Súrssonar and Íslendinga saga, the representation of family life extends to the situation of internal family conflicts, when the strict ethical codes underpinning the centrality of family obligations seem to be complicated and perhaps even threatened by characters’ formation of stronger bonds outside the family. The portrayal of internal family conflicts in these two sagas enabled the authors to express complex and often conflicting ethical issues.

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ID Code: 45506
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Gisla Saga, Islendingasaga, Family Sagas, Old Icelandic Literature, Families in Literature
DOI: 10.1353/pgn.0.0145
ISSN: 0313-6221
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500) > Other European Literature (200515)
Divisions: Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 by the Author
Deposited On: 29 Aug 2011 04:11
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2014 22:52

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