Brennu-Njals Saga is the longest and most celebrated of the Icelandic Sagas. Though its events are set in the tenth and early eleventh centuries, the Saga. Njal’s Saga has ratings and reviews. Jeffrey said: ”Gunnar got ready to ride to the Thing, and before he left he spoke to Hallgerd: ‘Behave you. 1. kafli. Mörður hét maður er kallaður var gígja. Hann var sonur Sighvats hins rauða. Hann bjó á Velli á Rangárvöllum. Hann var ríkur höfðingi og.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Njal’s Saga by Anonymous. Written in the thirteenth century, Njal’s Saga is a story that explores perennial human problems-from failed marriages to divided loyalties, from the law’s inability to curb human passions to the terrible consequences when decent men and women are swept up in a tide of violence beyond their control.
It is populated by memorable and complex characters like Gunnar of Hlidare Written in the thirteenth century, Njal’s Saga is a story that explores perennial human problems-from failed marriages to divided loyalties, from the law’s inability to curb human passions to the terrible njlx when decent men and women are swept up in a tide of violence beyond their control.
It is populated by memorable and complex characters like Gunnar of Hlidarendi, a powerful warrior with an aversion to killing, and the not-so-villainous Mord Valgardsson. Full of dreams, strange prophecies, violent power struggles, and fragile peace agreements, Njal’s Saga tells the compelling story of a fifty-year blood feud that, despite its distance from us in time and place, is driven by passions familiar to us all.
This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction, chronology, index brebnu characters, plot summary, explanatory notes, maps, and suggestions for further reading. Paperbackpages. Published December 6th by Penguin Classics first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Njal’s Sagaplease sign up.
Its a compilation of traditional folk tales, arranged by anonymous. Ian Njal’s Saga probably has roots in oral traditions about the Icelandic past i. But not in folktales, if …more Njal’s Saga probably has roots in oral traditions about the Icelandic past i. But not in folktales, if by “folktale” you mean the sort of thing collected by the Brothers Grimm, with anonymous or typically-named protagonists, and plots that could take place anywhere or nowhere.
Literary influences, including at least some in Latin, also have been identified by scholars, although the author whoever he was may have encountered them in oral retellings by those with more book learning. In any case, this saga among others has been increasingly recognized as a very sophisticated piece of storytelling, not a compilation of stories that share some scenes and characters. Nor, for that matter, are the sagas just accurate reporting of events, a notion once popular in Iceland and abroad, encouraged by their spare, “journalistic” style, apparent objectivity regarding characters, and great specificity regarding family trees and local landmarks.
As for “anonymous,” that is the standard condition for the Sagas of the Icelanders, as opposed to some of the Kings’ Sagas and perhaps some of the Bishops’ sagas, which I have not so much as looked at. The only exception to this rule may be Egil’s Saga, which some distinguished scholars have attributed to Snorri Sturluson —who is more securely tied to the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, the latter a collection of sagas about the kings of Norway.
I thought it was definitely written by Snorri Stullason. Lorelie Mansur no, this saga is by anon.
Snorri Sturluson wrote the Prose Edda and Egils saga. See all 3 questions about Njal’s Saga…. Lists with This Book. Jul 15, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: Gunnar rode to the Thing and saw that it was no good talking to her.
What was so unexpected saaga me was to discover, in such an ancient culture, the power that women had in, what I assumed was, a ssga society. Before I started reading Icelandic sagas, I had the image in my mind of the stereotypical, he-man, Viking Icelander, who ruled his home with an iron fist.
That was not the case at all. Hallgerd njos famous to scholars of the sagas because she was such a diabolical character. There was an inordinate amount of goading by women of their husbands in the sagas to push men into conflicts to defend family honor. The women, for the most part, did not really come bennu that well. They were depicted as shallow, petty, and quite willing to start an all out blood war over some perceived insult, even if the slight was unintended.
If a man did raise his hand to his wife, he risked having her burly male relatives appearing on his threshold to give him an attitude adjustment. Most disagreements between men, some of them caused by women, were settled at a gathering called Althing. Men would get together and discuss who did what to whom and how much compensation was expected to be paid to make up for the loss of a vrennu or of property. Again, surprisingly more civilized than anything I would have expected.
Because of the alliances between people, either through blood or marriage or friendship, blood feuds bernnu taken seriously. If things were not settled amicably between families, all of Iceland could find themselves in a civil war.
In these sagas, there were several moments when things became very precarious. As Hallgerd and Bergthora sparred with one another and convinced either their relatives or men who worked for their husbands to kill brennh from the other family, the possibility of a savage blood feud erupting became precariously plausible.
Njal and Gunnar kept passing the same bag of silver back and forth as compensation for the deaths of their kinsmen to keep the brennk.
Njáls saga – Wikipedia
Njal was considered one of the wisest men in Iceland, but though many came to him for consul, including Gunnar, his own sons frequently avoided asking him for advice, which eventually led to disaster.
He was so mild mannered, but once his ire was raised he could become a fierce and formidable warrior. I really grew to appreciate his character as his story was told. Throughout the sagas were foreshadowings or prophecies sag what the future would hold. Hallgerd had a couple of marriages before Gunnar and was known for being difficult to get along with, but she was beautiful, and men continued to be dazzled by her appearance and thought they could handle sagz conniving and manipulations.
Despite mjls very civilized manner with which compensation was handled in this society, there were still plenty of points in the saga where bloody conflict broke out, and there was much lopping of hands, arms, legs, and heads off. One brenmu my favorites was when: Gunnar then fell off the roof. The Norwegian lost his grip on his shield, his feet slipped and he fell off the roof and then walked to where Gizur and the others were sitting on the ground.
Gizur jjls at him and spoke: Within a few pages, I found a rhythm with the way the stories were told and within a few chapters I was caught up in the lives of Gunnar and Njal.
The introduction was a great prep for reading the sagas and provided me with insights that helped me enjoy my reading even more. There were many creatively described, bloodthirsty moments as well as some detailed legal proceedings that confirmed for me the importance of laws to balance the scales between the strongest and the weakest. This Icelandic culture around AD was a society trying to evolve away from their bloody, barbaric past and szga toward a civilisation where sava life was precious, and the arts could be appreciated as much as the glitter of a sharp sword blade.
Also see my review of The Saga of the Volsungs and my review of King Harald’s Saga If you wish to see more of my most recent book and sga reviews, visit http: View all 8 comments.
Jun 15, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: Often when thinking about the rise of the European novel there’s a tendency to look to Cervantes or maybe back to “The Golden Ass”.
Yet longer sagas like Njal’s saga seem to be very much like novels to me. This is an amazing work. Partially based on fact and around factual events such as the coming of Christianity to Iceland view spoiler [established in this story thanks to bribery apparently njlw spoiler ] the saga traces a quarrel.
As it gets out of hand and men reach for weapons calmer heads Often when thinking about the rise of the European novel there’s a tendency to look to Cervantes or maybe back to “The Golden Ass”. As it gets out of hand and men reach for weapons calmer heads build settlements between the angry parties. However the causes of unhappiness cause the quarrel to break out repeatedly, each time as more people die, other families are dragged in due to ties of kinship or obligation nils one side finishes the argument with an act of simple, but extreme brutality.
The sense of impending disaster, apparently averted at times but then back on track gives this work a bleak power, added to which it has a selection of fine feud worthy early Icelandic insults view spoiler [ from making plain that you think a certain family put dung on their faces to encourage beard growth to telling a man that he enjoys being the recipient of the sexual attentions of a troll on the farm wall repeatedly, naturally such talk in combination with carrying weapons has only one possible outcome and that doesn’t involve nils hide spoiler ].
Fascinating glimpse into early medieval Iceland. View all 6 comments. Brdnnu is one of the greatest crimes of brnnu literature that Penguin has replaced this — one of the truly great English translations of any njks by anyone — with a horrendously execrable translation whose only distinguishing characteristic is that it was done more recently.
Njal’s Saga (Penguin Classics): Anonymous, Robert Cook: : Books
Seek out Magnus Magnusson’s translation thankfully there are oodles and oodles of them second hand due to it being assigned in college courses for decades at all costs. This book is really in a class by itself. It might be a It is one of the greatest crimes of recent literature that Penguin has replaced this — one of the truly great English translations of any work by anyone — with a horrendously execrable translation whose only distinguishing characteristic is that it was done more recently.
It might be an epic poem in Icelandic, but in English it behaves like a real novel, which is jaw-dropping, considering it was written about years ago — years before DON QUIXOTE, which is generally considered the first “real novel” — and is in contrast to other zaga epics such as THE ILIAD which even in prose translations can hardly be mistaken for “real novels”.
Using more-or-less factual events that took place between AD and AD, the book is a long but utterly enthralling history of a few families mostly about two in particular and the cycle of violence and murder that self-perpetuates between them, grennu to be quelled because of the way the legal system and ethics are instituted in pagan Iceland.
It isn’t until Christianity is brought to Iceland in AD and its precept of forgiveness is introduced to the islanders’ morality that the violence can at long last end. The last scene of the book, when both sides have forgiven each other, is incredibly moving.
Jun 03, Nikki rated it it was amazing Shelves: I really enjoyed this one. There’s some likeable characters — even from my soft-hearted modern point of view — who I really got to care about, which isn’t always the case with sagas. I was kind of sad when they went out of the saga. The translation is good, clear and easy to read, and there’s helpful footnotes, brdnnu good introduction, and other helpful supplementary material.
As with all sagas, there’s an awful lot of names, but it’s still pretty easy to follow. I found some of it amusing in a som I really enjoyed this one. I found some of it amusing in a somewhat macabre way — sagq at the beginning, with Hallgerd’s bloodthirsty nature. In the end, the “eye for an eye” mentality of the characters becomes amusing because of the excess of it, to me.
Gunnar and Njal are refreshing in their refusal to feud with each other. A lot of the saga is based on the points of the law, as well as the killing, which is interesting. Someone compared it to a John Grisham book for the Norse, which I can confirm from doing my own translations that the Penguin edition has a bjls good translation: It has everything you could want in a saga: Despite being named after Njal Thorgeirsson, the saga is wide-ranging and seems to support a fair number of protagonists.