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icelandic sagas craigieThe Icelandic Sagas by W. A. Craigie. Cambridge. 1913. Cambridge University Press. 120 pages. hardcover. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   The general title of Icelandic Sagas is used to denote a very extensive body of prose literature written in Iceland, and in the language of that country, at various dates between the middle of the twelfth century and the beginning of the fifteenth; the end of the period, however, is less clearly marked than the beginning. The common feature of the works classed under this name, which vary greatly in length, value, and interest, is that they have the outward form of historical or biographical narratives; but the matter is often purely fictitious, and in many cases fact and fiction are inseparably blended. Both in the form and in the matter there is much that is conventional, and many features of style and content are quite peculiar to the special Icelandic mode of storytelling. The word saga (of which the plural is sögur) literally means ‘something said,’ and was in use long before there was any written literature in Iceland. From an early period it had been a custom, which in course of time became an accomplishment and an art, to put together in a connected form the exploits of some notable man or the record of some memorable event, and to relate the story thus composed as a means of entertainment and instruction. It was out of these oral narratives, augmented and elaborated during the course of several centuries, that the written saga finally arose.

 

 

Craigie W A Sir William Alexander Craigie (August 13, 1867, Dundee, United Kingdom -  September 2, 1957, Watlington, United Kingdom) was a philologist and a lexicographer. A graduate of the University of St Andrews, he was the third editor of the Oxford English Dictionary and co-editor of the 1933 supplement.

 


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