Sweden of the Sagas

Gislason, Kari (2009) Sweden of the Sagas. In Ney, Agneta, Williams, Henrik, & Charpentier Ljungqvist, Fredrik (Eds.) Á austrvega. Saga and East Scandinavia. Preprint Papers of The 14th International Saga Conference Uppsala, 9th – 15th August 2009. Volumes 1 – 2, Gävle University Press, Uppsala, Sweden, pp. 484-490.

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In this paper, I discuss the representation of Sweden and Swedes in the Íslendingasögur, with an emphasis on identifying patterns across the works, both in terms of narrative structure and content. The aim in doing so is to shed light on modes of representing non-Icelanders in the Íslendingasögur, as well as on medieval Icelandic conceptions of Sweden as a distinct region within Scandinavia. I also aim here to add to a longer-term project that examines the place of foreign visitors to Iceland in the saga corpus more generally.

As the scope of this paper is limited to Swedish characters, I am cautious about drawing broad conclusions about their representation – observations given here will need to be framed by a wider study, and one that reads for the characterisation of Swedes in the context both of other genres of saga literature and representations of characters from other regions beside Sweden. However, it is clear that some similarities exist in saga episodes involving Swedish characters: in four of the Íslendingasögur, Swedes are given roles as intruders or outsiders who threaten the community of the saga and whose deaths bring about a change in the for- tunes of their killers.

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ID Code: 76503
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Viking Age Sweden, Old Icelandic Sagas
ISBN: 9789197832908
ISSN: 1653-7130
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LITERARY STUDIES (200500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 The author
Deposited On: 02 Oct 2014 02:10
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2014 23:22

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