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Poetry and Landscape in the Íslendingasögur

Rich, Katherine (2018) Poetry and Landscape in the Íslendingasögur. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

In spite of a recent surge of interest in space and place in saga scholarship, there has been no sustained study of the presentation of landscape in skaldic poetry. This thesis seeks to establish that there is, in fact, a highly sophisticated poetry of landscape preserved in the Íslendingasögur, and that study of these verses is crucial to any assessment of the relationship between people and land in these texts. I identify and discuss various poetic treatments of landscape in the sagas with particular attention to the associations of certain topographical features, and examine the function of these verses within the larger context of the narratives in question. Each of the three chapters deals with a different type of landscape: Chapter 1 is concerned primarily with poetic depictions of the Icelandic highland, and discusses the central role of the poet in engaging with the land; Chapter 2 examines the use of coastal landscapes and seascapes, and considers the varied responses that these verses demonstrate to littoral space and its inherent tensions; and Chapter 3 considers poetry composed about agricultural landscapes, with particular reference to expressions of ownership and the use of verses in the context of legal disputes and physical conflicts. Over the course of this study, I demonstrate the range and power of medieval Icelandic landscape poetry, the broader function of these verses in the Íslendingasögur, and the various ways in which these verses represent the experience of engaging with the natural world.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > English and Related Literature (York)
Depositing User: Dr Katherine Rich
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 10:45
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2019 10:45
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22818

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