Putrid fables and true histories: Perceptions of authenticity and the management of scepticism in Northern humanist fornaldarsaga scholarship

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Narratologists and philosophers have long been aware that the identification of any text as history or fiction depends not on its structure, style or content, but on its truth-value as perceived by its audiences, both actual and implied. The same story can be presented as historical or as fictional depending on what kind of contract is set up between narrator (or author, or editor) and audience. The medieval literary works known to us as fornaldarsögur have been transmitted and re-appropriated across a very large span of time and for very different kinds of audiences, so it might be expected that some of them have passed through a range of different positions on the history-fiction spectrum (or even several positions at once) when being rewritten and received in different contexts over the centuries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Legendary Legacy
Subtitle of host publicationTransmission and reception of the Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda
EditorsMatthew Driscoll, Silvia Hufnagel, Philip Lavender, Beeke Stegmann
Place of PublicationOdense
PublisherUniversity Press of Southern Denmark
Pages117-159
Number of pages43
ISBN (Print)9788740831030
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameThe Viking Collection
Volume24

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