‘The Saga of the Volsungs’

My son’s MA dissertation is a comparative study between Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon Epic literature and modern Fantasy Literature and in it he refers a lot to this little book that, as he explained to me, is one of the most important sources we have of Nordic literature.

Bearing in mind that I read this in translation, I cannot say that I really appreciate the language of epic, but the stories are bloody good. Literally! It is blood everywhere coupled with all sorts of ‘barbaric’ behaviour, greed and cruelty. From the academic point of view, it could not be more interesting because we see here some of the roots of themes  and symbols that permeate our literature.

With The Hobbit coming just round the corner, it is an interesting thing to read the story of the predecessors of all dragons and all dragon slayers.

Bylock, J. (transl) (1999) The Saga of the Volsungs. London: Penguin.

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