Meeting the Other in Norse Myth and Legend

Meeting the Other in Norse Myth and Legend

by John McKinnell


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A particular, recurring feature of Old Norse myths and legends is an encounter between creatures of This World [gods and human beings] and those of the Other [giants, giantesses, dwarves, prophetesses, monsters and the dead]. Concentrating on cross-gendered encounters, this book analyses these meetings, and the different motifs and situations they encompass, from the consultation of a prophetess by a king or god, to sexual liaisons and return from the dead. It considers the evidence for their pre-Christian origins, discusses how far individual poets and prose writers were free to modify them, and suggests that they survived in medieval Christian society because [like folk-tale] they provide a non-dogmatic way of resolving social and psychological problems connected with growing up, succession from one generation to the next, sexual relationships and bereavement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843840428
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 05/15/2005
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 6.14(d)

About the Author

John Mc Kinnell is Reader in Medieval Literature at the University of Durham, UK.

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