Echoes of Valhalla

The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas

Author: Jón Karl Helgason

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780237731

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 8488

Tolkien’s wizard Gandalf, Wagner’s Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Marvel’s superhero the Mighty Thor, the warrior heading for Valhalla in Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” and Donald Crisp’s portrayal of Leif Eriksson in the classic film The Viking—these are just a few examples of how Icelandic medieval literature has shaped human imagination during the past 150 years. Echoes of Valhalla is a unique look at modern adaptations of the Icelandic eddas (poems of Norse mythology) and sagas (ancient prose accounts of Viking history, voyages, and battles) across an astonishing breadth of art forms. Jón Karl Helgason looks at comic books, plays, travel books, music, and films in order to explore the reincarnations of a range of legendary characters, from the Nordic gods Thor and Odin to the saga characters Hallgerd Long-legs, Gunnar of Hlidarendi, and Leif the Lucky. Roaming the globe, Helgason unearths echoes of Nordic lore in Scandinavia, Britain, America, Germany, Italy, and Japan. He examines the comic work of Jack Kirby and cartoon work of Peter Madsen; reads the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Gordon Bottomley; engages thought travelogues by Frederick Metcalfe and Poul Vad; listens to the music of Richard Wagner, Edward Elgar, and the metal band Manowar; and watches films by directors such as Roy William Neill and Richard Fleischer, outlining the presence of the eddas and sagas in these nineteenth- and twentieth-century works. Altogether, Echoes of Valhalla tells the remarkable story of how disparate, age-old poetry and prose originally recorded in remote areas of medieval Iceland have come to be a part of our shared cultural experience today—how Nordic gods and saga heroes have survived and how their colorful cast of characters and adventures they went on are as vibrant as ever.

Echoes of Valhalla

The Afterlife of the Eddas and Sagas

Author: Jón Karl Helgason

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780237154

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 8616

Tolkien’s wizard Gandalf, Wagner’s Valkyrie Brünnhilde, Marvel’s superhero the Mighty Thor, the warrior heading for Valhalla in Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song,” and Donald Crisp’s portrayal of Leif Eriksson in the classic film The Viking—these are just a few examples of how Icelandic medieval literature has shaped human imagination during the past 150 years. Echoes of Valhalla is a unique look at modern adaptations of the Icelandic eddas (poems of Norse mythology) and sagas (ancient prose accounts of Viking history, voyages, and battles) across an astonishing breadth of art forms. Jón Karl Helgason looks at comic books, plays, travel books, music, and films in order to explore the reincarnations of a range of legendary characters, from the Nordic gods Thor and Odin to the saga characters Hallgerd Long-legs, Gunnar of Hlidarendi, and Leif the Lucky. Roaming the globe, Helgason unearths echoes of Nordic lore in Scandinavia, Britain, America, Germany, Italy, and Japan. He examines the comic work of Jack Kirby and cartoon work of Peter Madsen; reads the plays of Henrik Ibsen and Gordon Bottomley; engages thought travelogues by Frederick Metcalfe and Poul Vad; listens to the music of Richard Wagner, Edward Elgar, and the metal band Manowar; and watches films by directors such as Roy William Neill and Richard Fleischer, outlining the presence of the eddas and sagas in these nineteenth- and twentieth-century works. Altogether, Echoes of Valhalla tells the remarkable story of how disparate, age-old poetry and prose originally recorded in remote areas of medieval Iceland have come to be a part of our shared cultural experience today—how Nordic gods and saga heroes have survived and how their colorful cast of characters and adventures they went on are as vibrant as ever.

The Rewriting of Njáls Saga

Translation, Ideology, and Icelandic Sagas

Author: Jón Karl Helgason

Publisher: Multilingual Matters

ISBN: 9781853594571

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 175

View: 6214

The Rewriting of Njáls saga concerns itself with the process which enables literary texts to cross cultures and endure history. Through six interrelated case studies, Jón Karl Helgason focuses on the reception of Njáls saga, the most distinguished of the Icelandic sagas, in Britain, the United States, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, between 1861 and 1945. The editions and translations in question claim to represent a medieval narrative to their audience, but Helgason emphasises how these texts simultaneously reflect the rewriters' contemporary ideas about race, culture, politics and poetics. Introducing the principles of comparative Translation Studies to the field of Medieval Literature, Helgason's book identifies the dialogue between literary (re)production and society.

From Asgard to Valhalla

The Remarkable History of the Norse Myths

Author: Heather O'Donoghue

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 0857730436

Category: History

Page: 232

View: 9536

Whether they focus on Thor's powerful hammer, the wailing Valkyrie, the palatial home of the gods - Asgard - or ravenous wolves and fierce elemental giants, the Norse myths are packed with rowdy incident. But at the centre of their cosmos stands a gnarled old ash tree, Yggdrasil, from which all distances and times are measured. When the old tree creaks, Ragnarok - the end of the world and of the gods themselves - is at hand. It is from this tree that Odin, father of the gods, hanged himself in search of the wisdom of the dead: a disturbing image of divine sacrifice far removed from the feasting and fighting of his otherworld home, Valhalla. And an image so problematic for thirteenth century Christians that they left it out when they wrote the myths down. From Asgard to Valhalla is the first book to show how and why the Norse myths have so powerfully resonated from era to era: from Viking-age stories of ice and fire to the epic poetry of Beowulf; and from Wagner's Ring to Marvel Comics' Mighty Thor. Heather O'Donoghue, who is an expert on Old Norse culture, shows in what ways the Norse myths have impacted on the western mind, across the fields of literature, art, music and politics. She considers the wider contexts of Norse mythology, including its origins, medieval expression and reception in post-medieval societies right up to the present. From Asgard to Valhalla is a book that will intrigue and delight anyone who is keen to understand how the Norse myths have so profoundly shaped, and continue to shape, the western cultural heritage.

Swords of Good Men

Author: Snorri Kristjansson

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

ISBN: 1623650755

Category: Fiction

Page: 304

View: 9917

Swords of Good Men--the first volume Snorri Kristjansson's Vhlhalla Saga--in is a raucous and gripping fantasy adventure set in Viking Norway, where plundering and pillaging are a way of life and creature comforts rarely exceed a mug of sour mead. To weary Viking Ulfar Thormodsson, the town of Stenvik is the penultimate stop on what has been a long and perilous journey. It has been particularly challenging for Thormodsson, who has been charged with protecting the life of his high-born cousin. Having travelled the world for two years, all he wants is to go home--but Stenvik awaits. After coming ashore, Thormodsson meets the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures his heart. Stenvik is also home to solitary blacksmith Audun Arngrimsson, whose past hides many dark secrets. Soon, the conflict brewing between two factions of dangerous and determined men of the town threatens to sweep all of them, natives and visitors alike, into the jaws of war. As the Vikings learn, King Olav is marching on Stenvik from the east, determined to bring the White Christ to the masses at the point of his sword - even as a host of bloodthirsty raiders led by a mysterious woman sails from the north. Thormodsson and his companions will soon learn that in this conflict between the Old Gods and the new, there are enemies everywhere - outside the walls of Stenvik as well as within. Swords of Good Men features a memorable cast of original characters and is driven by non-stop action and a clever sense of humor. Kristjansson deftly and elegantly weaves Norse mythology and history with fantasy in a novel that offers not only a good dose of bloody Viking feuding, but intrigue and romance.

Viking Friendship

The Social Bond in Iceland and Norway, c. 900-1300

Author: Jon Vidar Sigurdsson

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 1501708473

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 4928

" ""To a faithful friend, straight are the roads and short.""—Odin, from the Havamal (c. 1000) Friendship was the most important social bond in Iceland and Norway during the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages. Far more significantly than kinship ties, it defined relations between chieftains, and between chieftains and householders. In Viking Friendship, Jon Vidar Sigurdsson explores the various ways in which friendship tied Icelandic and Norwegian societies together, its role in power struggles and ending conflicts, and how it shaped religious beliefs and practices both before and after the introduction of Christianity. Drawing on a wide range of Icelandic sagas and other sources, Sigurdsson details how loyalties between friends were established and maintained. The key elements of Viking friendship, he shows, were protection and generosity, which was most often expressed through gift giving and feasting. In a society without institutions that could guarantee support and security, these were crucial means of structuring mutual assistance. As a political force, friendship was essential in the decentralized Free State period in Iceland's history (from its settlement about 800 until it came under Norwegian control in the years 1262–1264) as local chieftains vied for power and peace. In Norway, where authority was more centralized, kings attempted to use friendship to secure the loyalty of their subjects. The strong reciprocal demands of Viking friendship also informed the relationship that individuals had both with the Old Norse gods and, after 1000, with Christianity's God and saints. Addressing such other aspects as the possibility of friendship between women and the relationship between friendship and kinship, Sigurdsson concludes by tracing the decline of friendship as the fundamental social bond in Iceland as a consequence of Norwegian rule. "

Old Norse Mythology--comparative Perspectives

Author: Pernille Hermann,Jens Peter Schjødt,Amber J. Rose

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674975699

Category: Mythology, Norse

Page: 418

View: 9229

The existing manuscripts of Old Norse mythology were written mainly by Christians, obscuring the pre-Christian oral histories. This book assembles comparisons from a range of analytical perspectives--examining the similarities and differences of the Old Norse mythologies with the myths of other cultures and within the Old Norse corpus itself.

The Book of Strange New Things

A Novel

Author: Michel Faber

Publisher: Hogarth

ISBN: 0553418858

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 1145

A monumental, genre-defying novel that David Mitchell calls "Michel Faber’s second masterpiece," The Book of Strange New Things is a masterwork from a writer in full command of his many talents. It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter’s teachings—his Bible is their “book of strange new things.” But Peter is rattled when Bea’s letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling. Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter. Suddenly, a separation measured by an otherworldly distance, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. While Peter is reconciling the needs of his congregation with the desires of his strange employer, Bea is struggling for survival. Their trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and our responsibility to those closest to us. Marked by the same bravura storytelling and precise language that made The Crimson Petal and the White such an international success, The Book of Strange New Things is extraordinary, mesmerizing, and replete with emotional complexity and genuine pathos. From the Hardcover edition.

The Penguin History of Modern Vietnam

A History

Author: Christopher Goscha

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141946652

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 2301

The Vietnamese are in the unusual situation of being both colonizers themselves and the victims of colonization by others. Their country expanded, shrunk, split and sometimes disappeared, often under circumstances way beyond their control. Despite these often overwhelming pressures Vietnam has survived and is universally recognized as forming one of Asia's most striking and complex cultures. As more and more visitors come to this extraordinary country, there has been for some years a need for a major history - a book which allows the outsider to understand the many complex layers left by earlier emperors, rebels, priests and colonizers. Vietnam's role in one of the Cold War's longest conflicts has meant that its past has been endlessly abused for propaganda purposes and it is perhaps only now that the events which created the modern state can be seen through a truly historical perspective. Christopher Goscha is a leading expert on Vietnam, and this book draws on the latest research and discoveries in Vietnamese, French and English. It is a major achievement, describing both the grand narrative of Vietnam's story but also many of the remarkable byways and what ifs, and is particularly strong on the countless minority groups who have done so much over the centuries to define the many versions of Vietnam.

1983

Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink

Author: Taylor Downing

Publisher: Da Capo Press

ISBN: 0306921731

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 2975

A riveting, real-life thriller about 1983--the year tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union nearly brought the world to the point of nuclear Armageddon The year 1983 was an extremely dangerous one--more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the United States, President Reagan vastly increased defense spending, described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire," and launched the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative to shield the country from incoming missiles. Seeing all this, Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, became convinced that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union and he put the KGB on high alert, looking for signs of an imminent nuclear attack. When a Soviet plane shot down a Korean civilian jet, Reagan described it as "a crime against humanity." And Moscow grew increasingly concerned about America's language and behavior. Would they attack? The temperature rose fast. In November the West launched a wargame exercise, codenamed "Abel Archer," that looked to the Soviets like the real thing. With Andropov's finger inching ever closer to the nuclear button, the world was truly on the brink. This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, intelligence failures, misunderstandings, and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of astonishing new documents, Taylor Downing tells for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to nuclear war in 1983.

The Secret of Excalibur

A Novel

Author: Andy McDermott

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 9780553906820

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 7771

A LEGENDARY WEAPON. A RUTHLESS ASSASSIN. A PERILOUS HUNT. Excalibur . . . Legend has it that he who carries King Arthur’s mighty sword into battle will be invincible. But for more than a thousand years, the secret to the whereabouts of this powerful weapon has been lost . . . until now. Archaeologist Nina Wilde is hoping for a little R&R with her fiancé, former SAS bodyguard Eddie Chase. But the couple’s plans are dashed when a meeting with an old acquaintance propels Nina and Eddie into a razor’s-edge hunt across the globe—battling a team of elite mercenaries who will stop at nothing in order to claim a prize every treasure hunter has coveted since the final days of Camelot. Nina and Eddie must do everything they can to keep the legendary blade from falling into the wrong hands. Because the truth behind the sword’s power—and those who seek it—will not only shock the world but plunge it into a new and more devastating era of war.

The Goddess

Myths of the Great Mother

Author: David Leeming,Christopher Fee

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780235380

Category: Religion

Page: 224

View: 8574

For as long as we have sought god, we have found the goddess. Ruling over the imaginations of humankind’s earliest agricultural civilizations, she played a critical spiritual role as a keeper of nature’s fertile powers and an assurance of the next sustaining harvest. In The Goddess, David Leeming and Christopher Fee take us all the way back into prehistory, tracing the goddess across vast spans of time to tell the epic story of the transformation of belief and what it says about who we are. Leeming and Fee use the goddess to gaze into the lives and souls of the people who worshipped her. They chart the development of traditional Western gender roles through an understanding of the transformation of concepts of the Goddess from her earliest roots in India and Iran to her more familiar faces in Ireland and Iceland. They examine the subordination of the goddess to the god as human civilizations became mobile and began to look upon masculine deities for assurances of survival in movement and battle. And they show how, despite this history, the goddess has remained alive in our spiritual imaginations, in figures such as the Christian Virgin Mother and, in contemporary times, the new-age resurrection of figures such as Gaia. The Goddess explores this central aspect of ancient spiritual thought as a window into human history and the deepest roots of our beliefs.

Jesus of Nazareth and Other Writings

Author: Richard Wagner

Publisher: U of Nebraska Press

ISBN: 9780803297807

Category: Music

Page: 441

View: 8621

Near the end of his life, Richard Wagner supervised the publication of his collected writings, providing an extensive view of his thoughts about art and politics from his youth to his final period of triumph. After his death, there was still more to be told: his admirers discovered a large number of writings he had forgotten, misplaced, never published, or had chosen to omit from his collected works. This volume, the last of eight volumes now reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press, collects the most illuminating of those works.øThe title work, ?Jesus of Nazareth,? was written in 1848 or 1849; its composition coincided with the most widespread revolutionary ferment seen in Europe. It expresses Wagner?s own revolutionary ideals, thoroughly justified (or so he thought) by Jesus and the early Church. At the time Wagner considered Jesus as a revolutionary leader whose struggles with authority and traditions were much like his own. The opening work is ?Siegfried?s Death,? a poem written in 1848 that set the tone for his most famous operatic work, the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. Whole sections of the poem were later incorporated into the fourth Ring opera, Gotterdammerung, but the differences are as revealing as the carryover. øThe essays that Wagner published in journals but saw fit to exclude from his Gesammelte Schriften might have embarrassed the elderly sage but are key documents to Wagner?s activities in his revolutionary period. For example, his ardently prorevolutionary essay, ?The Revolution,? would have displeased the wealthy patrons of his later years.øThis edition includes the full text of volume 8 of the translation of Wagner?s works published in 1899 for the London Wagner Society.

The Troll Inside You

Paranormal Activity in the Medieval North

Author: Ármann Jakobsson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781947447004

Category: Icelandic literature

Page: 244

View: 4977

What do medieval Icelanders mean when they say ¿troll¿? What did they see when they saw a troll? What did the troll signify to them? And why did they see them?The principal subject of this book is the Norse idea of the troll, which the author uses to engage with the larger topic of paranormal experiences in the medieval North. The texts under study are from 13th-, 14th-, and 15th-century Iceland. The focus of the book is on the ways in which paranormal experiences are related and defined in these texts and how those definitions have framed and continue to frame scholarly interpretations of the paranormal.The book is partitioned into numerous brief chapters, each with its own theme. In each case the author is not the least concerned with how the paranormal functions within medieval society and in the minds of the individuals who encounter and experience it and go on to narrate these experiences through intermediaries. The author connects the paranormal encounter closely with fears and these fears are intertwined with various aspects of the human experience, including gender, family ties, and death.The Troll Inside You hovers over the boundaries of scholarship and literature. Its aim is to prick and provoke but above all to challenge its audience to reconsider some of their preconceived ideas about the medieval past.

The Long War

Author: Terry Pratchett,Stephen Baxter

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062067788

Category: Fiction

Page: 528

View: 9806

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter follows the adventures and travails of heroes Joshua Valiente and Lobsang in an exciting continuation of the extraordinary science fiction journey begun in their New York Times bestseller The Long Earth. A generation after the events of The Long Earth, humankind has spread across the new worlds opened up by “stepping.” A new “America”—Valhalla—is emerging more than a million steps from Datum—our Earth. Thanks to a bountiful environment, the Valhallan society mirrors the core values and behaviors of colonial America. And Valhalla is growing restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government. Soon Joshua, now a married man, is summoned by Lobsang to deal with a building crisis that threatens to plunge the Long Earth into a war unlike any humankind has waged before.

Echo House

Author: Ward Just

Publisher: HMH

ISBN: 9780547525808

Category: Fiction

Page: 336

View: 6838

This family saga from a National Book Award finalist is a “brilliantly orchestrated tale of several generations of Washington, D.C., insiders” (Booklist). In this epic and acutely observed novel, three generations of a family of Washington power brokers vie for influence over the fate of the nation. In the 1930s, Sen. Adolph Behl and his wife, Constance, buy historic mansion Echo House with the vision of transforming it into Washington’s greatest salon—an auspicious base camp from which the senator can launch his “final ascent,” and son Axel can prepare his first. Across decades of secrets, betrayals, victories, and humiliations, the Behl family will fight to remain near the center, and behind the scenes, of American political power—from the New Deal to Watergate and beyond. “A fascinating if ultimately painful fairy tale, complete with . . . a family curse . . . The decline of the Behls represents the decline of Washington from the bright dawn of the American century into the gathering shadows of an alien new millennium.” —The Washington Post “Puts the standard run-of-the-mill Washington novel to shame . . . It is Mr. Just’s intimate portrait of the city that makes his book so convincing.” —TheNew York Times “Will be read in a century’s time by anyone seeking to understand how we lived.” —Detroit Free Press “[Ward’s] stories put him in the category reserved for writers who work far beyond the fashions of the times. . . . Masterpieces of balance, focus, and hidden order.” —Chicago Tribune “He has earned a place on the shelf just below Edith Wharton and Henry James.” —Newsweek

V for Vendetta

Author: Alan Moore

Publisher: DC

ISBN: 1401236316

Category: Comics & Graphic Novels

Page: N.A

View: 8816

"Alan Moore outdoes himself... Extraordinary ... a poetic celebration of the powers of the imagination." - Kurt Loder, MTV A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

The Art of Detection

Author: Laurie R. King

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553588338

Category: Fiction

Page: 495

View: 6820

San Francisco detective Kate Martinelli receives a lesson in detection from the master sleuth himself when she investigates the murder of a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, who may have been killed for a recently acquired, century-old manuscript purportedly penned by Holmes. Reprint.

Shadow of the Swords

An Epic Novel of the Crusades

Author: Kamran Pasha

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9781416580706

Category: Fiction

Page: 416

View: 5775

An epic saga of love and war, Shadow of the Swords tells the story of the Crusades—from the Muslim perspective. Saladin, a Muslim sultan, finds himself pitted against King Richard the Lionheart as Islam and Christianity clash against each other, launching a conflict that still echoes today. In the midst of a brutal and unforgiving war, Saladin finds forbidden love in the arms of Miriam, a beautiful Jewish girl with a tragic past. But when King Richard captures Miriam, the two most powerful men on Earth must face each other in a personal battle that will determine the future of the woman they both love—and of all civilization. Richly imagined, deftly plotted, and highly entertaining, Shadow of the Swords is a remarkable story that will stay with readers long after the final page has been turned.

Shades of Valhalla - Inner Origins Book One

Author: Ellis Logan

Publisher: Earth Lodge via PublishDrive

ISBN: 194439611X

Category: Fiction

Page: 357

View: 8773

Magic. Mayhem. One girl to save the world, or end it... Siri Alvarsson is thrust into an unseen war between the Light and the Dark and a world she never even knew existed. She's having strange visions and the Dark wants to use her as an instrument to win the war. The futures of both humanity and fae depend on Siri. Will she choose the Light or the Dark? Experience Siri's struggle and triumph while she learns to follow her heart and discovers her true, inner origins. Ellis Logan’s bestselling paranormal fantasy series, Inner Origins, is action-packed with magic and romance. The books combine Celtic and Norse myth with ancient Faerie legend to create an adventure you’ll never forget. If you liked Mortal Instruments, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Relentless, or A Court of Thorns and Roses, you'll love Shades of Valhalla. Suitable for ages 13 to 105.