The Rewriting of Njáls Saga

RewritingJón Karl Helgason. The Rewriting of Njáls Saga. Translation, Ideology and Icelandic Sagas. Topics in Translation 16. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1999, vi + 175 pp.

The Rewriting of Njáls Saga concerns itself with the process which enables literary texts to cross cultures and endure history. Through six interrelated case studies, the study focuses on the reception of Njáls saga, the most distinguished of the Icelandic sagas, in Britain, the United States, Denmark, Norway and Iceland, between 1861 and 1945. The editions and translations in question claim to represent a medieval narrative to their audience, but Helgason emphasises how these texts simultaneously reflect the rewriters' contemporary ideas about race, culture, politics and poetics. Introducing the principles of comparative Translation Studies to the field of Medieval Literature, Helgason's book identifies the dialogue between literary (re)production and society.


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