Questions tagged [scandinavian-languages]

For questions about Scandinavian literature: works of literature which were originally written in any of the North Germanic (or "Scandinavian") languages - Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, or Old Norse. Note that this is a language tag and not a country tag: the place of publication is irrelevant.

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Did Ibsen have any known response to Shaw's Quintessence of Ibsenism?

George Bernard Shaw's The Quintessence of Ibsenism was first published in 1891, fifteen years before Ibsen died in 1906. Shaw was Ibsen's most fervent champion in England, but his essay perhaps tells ...
verbose's user avatar
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6 votes
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Is the title best translated "A Dollhouse", "A Doll House" or "A Doll's House"?

In the foreword to his translation of Henrik Ibsen's plays, Rolf Fjelde explains that the title of the 1879 play is A Doll House: There is certainly no sound justification for perpetuating the ...
verbose's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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Is the ending of A Doll's House satisfactory and moral?

I have read Henrik Ibsen's play A Doll's House. What mostly moved me is its ending! Though it was not something possible in that period and led to debates and controversies, I feel like there was no ...
Dia's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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What does "grinning" mean in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen"?

At the beginning of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen", when describing the distorting mirror that would then shatter, the word "grin" is used: If a good thought passed ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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What did Peer Gynt look like?

Is there a good description of the physical looks of Peer anywhere in the play Peer Gynt? I assume he looked like the "default" for "adventurer" types. (I automatically think of ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
57 views

What character traits define Ibsen’s Brand?

(I am not asking this for a school assignment. I’m not in school.) I have not read Brand carefully. I want an introductory sense of if the content of the play accords with my understanding so far. I ...
Julius H.'s user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
176 views

What is the main idea of Ibsen's Ghosts, and what does the ending of the play mean?

What is the main idea of Ibsen's Ghosts, and what does the ending of the play mean? Some comments said that Osvald inherited the disease from his father. But Ghosts was a play that is a sacarsm of the ...
Asigan's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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Source of three Icelandic kennings quoted (in Russian) in poem of Martynov?

The Russian poem Songs of the skalds (Песни скальдов), by Leonid Martynov, 1967, plays on the kennings used in Icelandic skaldic poetry, and quotes three rather complex kennings — translated into ...
Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
393 views

What does "The Neck" mean in Herr Mannelig?

What does "the Neck" mean in the phrase "The spawn of the Neck and the Devil"? I've met it in the translation of the Swedish song Herr Mannelig (video). Af Neckens och djävulens ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where exactly does Tófa fit into the Saga of Týrfingr, is she the same individual as Sváva?

The wikipedia page for Tófa states shes is the Wife of Angantyr and mother of Hervor: Tófa (Tófu) is the wife of Angantyr and mother of Hervor in Norse mythology. She is mentioned only once the ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
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0 answers
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Why is Hedda unable to free herself from the constraints of domesticity, while Thea is able to?

In Hedda Gabler, there exists the character foil of Hedda and Thea. Both of the characters have entered into marriages which have inhibited them from forming a 'free' sense of self and which reduce ...
Wesley1293's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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Where in norse literature was 'Galdrakinn' used as a nickname, as recorded by Cleasby?

The ONP page for Galdrahríð has definitions from Cleasby & Zoega, and lists all the words containing the headword Galdra, including this one. galdra-kinn, f. a ‘spell-cheek,’ a nickname, Eb. ...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
186 views

Is the AIA from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" real?

In The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Blomkvist's friend Robban mentions a government agency called the AIA (Agency for Industrial Assistance), which was supposed to "help industry in the former ...
Benjamin Grange's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
981 views

How does the old norse kenning 'nausta blakks hlé-mána gífrs drífu gim-slöngvir' break down into 'warrior'

The 11th century icelandic skald Þórðr Sjáreksson wrote this kenning, quoted from wikipedia: nausta blakks hlé-mána gífrs drífu gim-slöngvir "fire-brandisher of blizzard of ogress of protection-...
AncientSwordRage's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
325 views

Swedish novel from 2013 on a researcher in the isolated Pårte observatory in the Sarek Mountains, Sweden

I'm looking for a Swedish literary novel, published 2013, set in the Pårtetjåkko observatory in the Sarek mountains in Sweden. In the book, the (fictional) main character is alone in the remote ...
gerrit's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
207 views

How did Hans Christian Andersen know so much about Indian culture and geography?

Hans Christian Andersen was a nineteenth-century Danish writer who wrote fairy tales about various events. In his short fairy tale "What the Moon Saw", in the part named "First Evening&...
Knight wants Loong back's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
248 views

Why did August Strindberg pick the names "Julie" and "Jean" for the protagonists of his play Miss Julie (1888)?

In Miss Julie (Fröken Julie), a seminal play and central piece of modern Swedish literature, the two main characters are named "Julie" and "Jean". Why "Julie" and "...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where in the Edda does it counsel or complain against drunkenness?

I recall reading that the Edda - either the poetic or prose Edda - counselled or complained against drunkenness. What did it exactly say? And who said it?
EddaNut's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Empty pages in Kongens Fald

I'm starting to read Kongens Fald by Johannes V. Jensen. I find out that at the first chapter, Mikkel chapter, there are some empty pages. I just want to know if the Spanish version that I bought is ...
user2820579's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
163 views

Are coins usually turned around before handed to beggars?

I was reading Antinatalism on Wikiquote and saw Antinatalism - Wikiquote Above all, we must make the reproductive question ethically relevant. A coin is turned around before it is handed to the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Did 'A Doll's House' spark controversy over its dismissal of social classes?

I know the play caused drama over feminist ideas and all, but what about the social structure, such as in the end when Nora ignores Torvald's statement "You don’t understand the society you live in" ...
Sarah's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
113 views

How does the theme of fate manifest in 'Njal's Saga', and how does it differ from the theme of fate in the Aeneid by Virgil?

How is fate/fatalism portrayed in Njal's Saga? And how does it play into the development of the plot? What are some comparisons that can be drawn between fate in Njal's Saga and the Aeneid of Virgil....
Abdulaziz K. Alyahya's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Why does Laxness mention "second sight" in "Independent People"?

From Independent People by Halldór Laxness (translated from Icelandic by J. A. Thompson): Others believe that she lives much in the lake in the form of some kind of serpent or water-monster; and ...
mami's user avatar
  • 21
0 votes
1 answer
550 views

How did Jonathan know about Nangiyala?

In Astrid Lindgren's The Brothers Lionheart (originally Bröderna Lejonhjärta in Swedish), Jonathan and Karl/Rusky (originally Jonatan and Karl/Skorpan) are two brothers. Jonathan tells his younger, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
637 views

In Jo Nesbø's The Snowman, how did Gert Rafto get captured?

One thing that I never figured out after reading Jo Nesbo's The Snowman is how did Gert Rafto get captured by the killer. I know that Gert Rafto confronted the killer alone, and he knows the identity ...
Shamisen Expert's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Snufkin based on Atos Wirtanen?

According to Wikipedia, the character of Snufkin in the Moomin series of children's books by Tove Jansson is based on her real-life friend Atos Wirtanen: Tove Jansson based the character of Snufkin ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
198 views

The Icelandic Edda's origins

The "prose Edda", as opposed to the "poetic Edda" was written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturlusson as we know. The older, poetic Edda is much older. How old could it actually be? There seems to ...
Obiwan KeNoobie's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
41 views

How does it improve the book to show the major's power?

In Sophie's World, as the end of the book approaches, crazier and crazier things begin to happen - dramatic storms, fairy tale characters in the forest, geese that carry people around, strange garden ...
auden's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
342 views

Major differences between Norse epic poetry and English epic poetry

I'm reading J.R.R. Tolkien's The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and the commentary talks a little bit about differences between Old Norse and Old English epic poetry: But Old English verse does not ...
auden's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
90 views

What is Sophie saying about the Tower of Babel here?

When Sophie is taking her religion studies test, she writes this: (page 124 in my edition; chapter "Hellenism") P.S. In the Bible there is something that could have been one of the fine hairs of ...
Mithical's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
218 views

When did Sophie and Alberto become real?

At what point did Sophie and Alberto become real? When did they become more than a character in a book? Or were they always 'real', and they only needed the book to be written for things to happen and ...
Mithical's user avatar
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9 votes
0 answers
205 views

Why is it important that 'Nowadays it's the girl who takes the initiative'?

In Sophie's World, we have one scene that can be described as a sex scene. It's in the chapter 'The Garden Party'; page 478 in my edition. Here's the relevant part: The guests applauded, and one of ...
Mithical's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
392 views

Are there significant differences across the Nordic countries in the traditional portrayal of trolls?

Trolls are a common feature of Scandinavian folklore - and possibly also of those of the wider Nordic region, Finland and Iceland as well as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, although I'm not sure about ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
8 votes
1 answer
148 views

Why is there so much legalese in Egil's Saga?

Egil's Saga, often thought to have been written by famed Icelandic poet Snorri Sturluson, appears to be a heroic family history. It differs from other sagas and, indeed, from other work by Sturluson, ...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
255 views

What is a beacon?

I'm reading George W. DaSent's 1861 translation of The Story of Burnt Njal (because it's available for free online). I have what some may consider a basic question, but given that I don't know ...
user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
63 views

Were any of the Asbjørnsen og Moe stories transcribed directly from oral traditions?

Asbjørnsen og Moe are the Norwegian answers to the Brothers Grimm, the collectors of what is still considered the definitive volume of Norwegian folk tales. How many of these tales were taken from ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
527 views

How did Ibsen's writing in A Doll's House influence the James Joyce character Molly Bloom?

How did Ibsen's writing in A Doll's House influence the James Joyce character Molly Bloom? Richard Ellmann in his book James Joyce mentions Joyce reading and getting influenced by Ibsen many times: ...
MikeRoger's user avatar
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