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The Saga of the Volsungs (1962)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140447385, Paperback)
One of the great books of world literature--an unforgettable tale of jealousy, unrequited love, greed, and vengeance.
Based on Viking Age poems and composed in thirteenth-century Iceland, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend, and sheer human drama in telling of the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer, who acquires runic knowledge from one of Odin's Valkyries. Yet the saga is set in a very human world, incorporating oral memories of the fourth and fifth centuries, when Attila the Hun and other warriors fought on the northern frontiers of the Roman empire. In his illuminating Introduction Jesse L. Byock links the historical Huns, Burgundians, and Goths with the extraordinary events of this Icelandic saga. With its ill-fated Rhinegold, the sword reforged, and the magic ring of power, the saga resembles the Nibelungenlied and has been a primary source for such fantasy writers as J. R. R. Tolkien and for Richard Wagner's Ring cycle.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:34 -0400)
Originally written in Icelandic in the thirteenth century AD by an anonymous author, The Story of The Volsungs is a legendary saga based on Norse mythology. The epic describes the legendary history and heroic feats of several generations of mythic Viking families and derives from many sources, including preexisting Edda, or heroic poems, Norse legends, historical events, and orally transmitted folklore. The saga is imbued throughout with themes of power, jealousy, love, vengeance, and fear. Often considered a critical influence on such later works as Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle and J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Story of the Volsungs is a powerful epic that continues to resonate for modern listeners. This edition-which includes excerpts from the Poetic Eddas, one of the sources of The Story of the Volsungs-is the translation by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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