• Fornaldarsögur and Financial Crisis: Bjarni Bjarnason’s Mannorð

    Author(s):
    Alaric Hall (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Icelandic literature, Medievalism
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Bjarni Bjarnason, Financial crisis, Gautreks saga
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6V97ZR22
    Abstract:
    'Fornaldarsögur and Financial Crisis: Bjarni Bjarnason’s Mannorð' is a relatively rare example of research on the modern reception of the medieval Icelandic genre of the fornaldarsögur. This article examines Bjarni Bjarnason's 2011 novel Mannorð, which draws heavily on Gautreks saga. Bjarni's work is shown to belong to a trend in Icelandic novels touching on the 2008 financial crisis: these often draw on medieval sources, specifically from outside the usual nationalist canon of Eddas and Íslendingasögur. Mannorð tells of a fictitious banker (inspired by the real-life Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson) seeking to regain his reputation following the Crash, and models this banker on Gautreks saga's sinister Óðinn-hero, Starkaður. In doing so, the novel satirises and subverts Björgólfur Thor's enthusiasm for associating himself with medieval vikings and specifically with the god Þór. Unusually for Icelandic financial-crisis novels, Mannorð also situates Iceland's role in the financial crisis productively in a wider global frame, using the story from Skáldskaparmál of how Óðinn killed nine slaves by making them compete for a whetstone to explore how Icelandic finance is implicated in the oppression of the developing world.
    Notes:
    The Viking Collection, 24
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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