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GRETTISFÆRSLA: THE HANDING ON OF GRETTIR

GRETTISFÆRSLA: THE HANDING ON OF GRETTIR

By Kate Heslop

VIKING SOCIETY FOR NORTHERN RESEARCH, Saga-Book Vol. XXX (2006)

Abstract

The old Icelandic poem Grettisfærsla (‘The Handing on of Grettir’), a composition of approximately 400 lines centred around a figure named Grettir, is mentioned in chapter 52 of Grettis saga (Gr). The sole surviving text of the poem is appended to the text of that saga in AM 556 a 4to. Despite the current popularity of Gr, and the fact that a diplomatic edition of the surviving fragments of Grettisfærsla has existed since the early 1960s when Ólafur Halldórsson published his pioneering work on the sole manuscript (ÓH 1960), the poem has attracted no sustained scholarly attention. Grettisfærsla is of intrinsic interest, as it deals with topics such as sexuality which are relatively sparsely represented in the texts that have come down to us.

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