Four Great Comedies
Translated by Lee M. Hollander, with an Introduction by Thorsteinn Gylfason.
Njal's Saga is the finest of the Icelandic sagas, and one of the world's greatest prose works. Written c.1280, about events a couple of centuries earlier, it is divided into three parts: the first recounts the touching friendship between noble Gunnar and the statesman Njal, together with the fatal enmity between their wives. The second part works out the central tragedy of the saga, while the third describes the retribution wrought by Flosi and Kari.
The saga is remarkable not only for the details of everyday life - the farming, the feasting and the charcoal-burning - but also for the social structure of the society in which that life took place - the Althing or Parliament, the lawmaking and the lawgiving. The grandeur of the narrative and the beauty and distinction of the characters mark Njal's Saga as an essential text for all who love adventure and great literature.