Seminar: Icelandic Sagas

September 10, Seminar on the Icelandic Sagas at the Reykjavik International Literary Festival

The Sagas as modern epic

The Reykjavik International Literary Festival and Sagenhaftes Island – Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2011 will host a seminar on the Icelandic Sagas where authors, translators and scholars will reflect on Sagas of the Icelanders and the meaning of the medieval literary heritage of Iceland for contemporary literature and other aspects.

A new German translation of all the Icelandic Sagas is now being published by S. Fischer Verlage and new translations are underway in the Scandinavian languages.

The seminar will be in Icelandic (before break) and English (after break) and takes place in the Nordic House, Reykjavik, on Saturday September 10 from 9-12. The seminar is funded by the EU Culture Programme.

Programme:

9-9.40 Panel 1: The Sagas – Now and Then (in Icelandic)

Kim Lembek and Kristof Magnusson will discuss the difference between old and new translations of the Sagas. They have translated the Saga of Nial and the Saga of Grettir and have had to take an older translation into account while working on the new translation. Moderator: Gísli Sigurðsson, research professor at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies.

9.40-10.20 Panel 2: Sagas and Eddas as the Source of Fiction (in Icelandic)

Authors Þórarinn Eldjárn, Vilborg Davíðsdóttir and Einar Kárason have all used the Sagas as an inspiration in their work. They will discuss how and why. Bergur Ebbi Benediktsson is moderator.

10.20-10.40 Break

10.40-11.00 Lectures: Reader Response in Britain (in English)

The scholar Andrew Wawn will discuss the reader response of the Icelandic Sagas in Britain which is an element he has focused on in his research. Vésteinn Ólason, professor, will present Andrew Wawn.

11-11.45 Panel 3: Old Stories in a New Century: The Publication of the Sagas for Modern Readers (in English)

Isabel Kupski, Viðar Hreinsson and Örnólfur Thorsson have all worked on new publications of the Sagas. In the panel, they will discuss the importance of re-publishing the Sagas for modern readers. Moderator: Halldór Guðmundsson, director of Sagenhaftes Island.

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