Thrand of Gotu: Two Icelandic Sagas from the Flat Island Book
The Porcupine's Quill, 1994 - Fiction - 184 pages
The two sagas of the Faroe Islanders and Greenlanders may be counted among the `Sagas of Icelanders', though Icelanders play no part in the first and little in the second, and events in both are remote from Iceland. They may be so categorized on account of their style, which is that of sober history, and not less so when events that we would consider supernatural occasionally take place in them. Both have been assigned approximate dates of composition early in the thirteenth century, among the first sagas to have been written down, yet their narrative lines have the assurance of a fully developed art. Their stories are told with finesse, many events in Faroe Islanders are given a comic slant that seems sophisticated, and both have small casts and little clutter of genealogies. Thrand of Gotu, in Faroe Islanders, is the most fully developed character in either, and one of the more complex and memorable villains of European literature.
This beautiful book is a celebration of an ancient tradition, skilfully rendered for modern audiences by respected poet and scholar George Johnston. Johnston's second book of sagas, The Schemers and Viga Glum, is also now available.
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