Anglo Saxon Period History and Literature discussion

The Long Arm of Coincidence: The Frustrated Connection Between 'Beowulf' and 'Grettis Saga'
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The connection between Beowulf and Grettir's saga, fact or fancy?

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message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 1 comments When an author is so very steeped, marinated, full of an age then begins to give back we have a Tolkien, thanks to him for that. He blesses my soul.


message 3: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn | 14 comments Ashamed to say, Neil, that I know so little about most of the sagas. I read Nyal's Saga long ago. I will begin to repair that gap by reading Grettir's Saga. I'm wondering how this author can disprove a connection in an age when both scops and the people they entertained moved about so much. Sure wish we had more information about the world of Anglo-Saxon singer-story tellers.


Neil | 86 comments Mod
Thom wrote: "Ashamed to say, Neil, that I know so little about most of the sagas. I read Nyal's Saga long ago. I will begin to repair that gap by reading Grettir's Saga. I'm wondering how this author can dispro..."

Thom, you're not the only one. I've read a lot of the legendary and chivalric sagas but not many of the family sagas. They are slow torture for me. So far, the author of this long arm book, the author says that the landscape connection is all wishful thinking because the Beowulf poet used the bickling homelies for the the grendal's mother scene. I've come across this before, in books by Charles wright and andy orchard. I think he's also going to have a go at panzer's bears son theory a little later in the book.


message 5: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn | 14 comments Neil wrote: "Thom wrote: "Ashamed to say, Neil, that I know so little about most of the sagas. I read Nyal's Saga long ago. I will begin to repair that gap by reading Grettir's Saga. I'm wondering how this auth..."

Am I right in thinking that a major blow-up at the victors' feast is a commonplace in heroic sagas ? After a lot of mead drinking ( I hate mead) the warriors get to boasting (of course) and contend to see who should get "the champion's portion" (first and best cut of the roast beast). Well, a big fight breaks off and a whole new saga is underway. The Tain Bo Coolinge begins much the same way with an argument--on a wedding night, no less, about who has the best bull (Bo). Rarer, it seems, for peace to break out among these northern clans----But this is all said in the context of near total ignorance. I think my wife actually liked Nyal's Saga. I'll start by seeing what I can learn from her and Wikipedia.


Neil | 86 comments Mod
Thom wrote: "Neil wrote: "Thom wrote: "Ashamed to say, Neil, that I know so little about most of the sagas. I read Nyal's Saga long ago. I will begin to repair that gap by reading Grettir's Saga. I'm wondering ..."

I've never come across the heroes portion in Germanic lit but trouble does always seem to start at a feast. In the Nibelungenlied, the trouble between the Huns and Burgundians starts at a feast. In the Thidrekssaga, the fall of the heroic age begins at a huge feast. The bridal quest epics nearly always begin with a feast/council scene. Another good type scene to look at is the arrivals and departures. There's a book on them in Beowulf by John Hill, but the scenes don't just happen in Beowulf, a lot of medieval epics and romance use the same sort of scene. Njal's saga, I read many years ago and can't remember a thing about it. See if your wife remembers any feasting, arrival and departure scenes.


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris (calmgrove) I've only read extracts from the saga in Beowulf and its Analogues so can't speak authoritatively about it (can't speak authoritatively about anything, come to think of it).

But it seems to me that the clue is in the word 'analogue' which, in this case, doesn't necessarily imply a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the two works, even though there are general parallels.

I once pointed out some of Arthurian analogues to some of the folktale motifs contained in Beowulf (such as comparing Arthur slaying a witch in a cave behind a waterfall in Culhwch and Olwen with Beowulf's slaying Grendel's mother in her cave in the mere). But this is not to say there is a direct connection between the two heroes, only that their respective sagas share folktale types and motifs, the common stock of Indo-European culture (and perhaps of humankind generally).


Neil | 86 comments Mod
That hits the nail on the head, they're parallels, not sources. You could say that the Vildifer episode in the Dietrich epics is a sourse but it just has features in common. The same with the hilde and Grimm fight in the cave and hildebrand's late rescue attempt.


message 9: by Thom (new) - added it

Thom Dunn | 14 comments Neil wrote: "That hits the nail on the head, they're parallels, not sources. You could say that the Vildifer episode in the Dietrich epics is a sourse but it just has features in common. The same with the hilde..."

The whole issue reminds me of the fact that all Arthurian materials have been lumped together as "The Matter of Britain" since the high middle ages. Likewise at the center of "The Matter of France" lies the Chanson de Roland. At this very moment, I am watching a production of Wagner's Ring Cycle on PBS and hoping that Romney lets it live alongside Big Bird.....Some things are just sacred !


message 10: by Neil (new) - rated it 4 stars

Neil | 86 comments Mod
Thom wrote: "Neil wrote: "That hits the nail on the head, they're parallels, not sources. You could say that the Vildifer episode in the Dietrich epics is a sourse but it just has features in common. The same w..."

I was looking at something called the Goodall ring cycle, the ring in English. I might give it a try but I think I might stick with Solti. Once your romley and our Cameron get their heads together, I don't think much will coexist.


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