Questions tagged [scandinavian-literature]

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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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....
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1answer
57 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 ...
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1answer
50 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, ...
2
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1answer
145 views

What is the name for the books with side-by-side bilingual text?

I'm trying to learn a new language, and looking for works with interleaved Norwegian-English texts. It can be either alternating sentences, paragraphs, or pages, so that I can juxtapose the ...
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179 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 ...
3
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1answer
685 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 ...
5
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1answer
111 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 ...
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30 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 ...
6
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1answer
167 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 ...
3
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1answer
61 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 ...
3
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1answer
51 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 ...
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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 ...
8
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1answer
118 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 ...
8
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1answer
84 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, ...
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1answer
156 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 ...
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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 ...
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241 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? In particular, what other authoritative commentators, besides Richard Ellmann, provide illuminating ...