The capstone volume in Penguin Classics’ celebrated series of Icelandic sagas
Comic Sagas and Tales from Iceland brings together the very finest Icelandic stories from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, a time of civil unrest and social upheaval. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains, and avenging sons who do battle with axes, words, and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages, and religious conversions in medieval Iceland and beyond. Shaped by Iceland’s oral culture and its people’s conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humor and stylistic innovation.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. Icelandic literary culture was one of the richest and most important in the medieval world. Texts that were written in Iceland during this period include Njal's Saga, Egil's Saga, The Vinland Sagas, as well as the Comic Sagas and Tales collected in this volume. Comic Sagas and Tales brings together the finest comic stories from medieval Iceland. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains and avenging sons do battle with axes, words and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages and religious conversions in Iceland and beyond. Shaped by Iceland's oral culture and their conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humour and stylistic innovation. In the introduction to these new translations, Vi�ar Hreinsson examines how the stories satirised old-style sagas while exploiting their classic themes of quests and revenge. This edition also includes a map, glossary, index of characters, suggested further reading and notes.