Since his youth, William Morris was interested in Medieval culture, in particular in the Nordic literature. But it is only in 1868 that he began, with the help of the Icelander Eirikr Magnusson, to read and translate Icelandic sagas and other nordic texts. The essay investigates the activity of William Morris as translator of Old Norse texts, giving a particular emphasis to the chronological order of his 'Nordic' work: A double table is offered: the first one gives information about William Morris' translations, writings and unpublished works, the second one, for the first time, gives a correspondence between Morris' calligraphic manuscripts and his Nordic produciton. From these tables emerges that the Nordic activity of Morris characterized a large part of his life during which he ruminated Icelandic sagas and Eddic materials. The second part of the essay is devoted to the peculiar work Morris did on prose and poetic Eddas.Translating the Saga of the Volsungs (strictly connected to Eddic heroic poems) Morris inserted translations from the poetic Edda and his use of those poetic texts as an instrument to give light on obscure passages of the saga texts is analyzed. Finally, it is edited and discussed a unupblished text by William Morris (it was edited only partially by previous scholarship) devoted to the Ragnarök (the end of the gods' world) which he knew through the poetic Edda and, more deeply, by Prose Edda. From this text, "The Mythology and Religion of the North" , a lecture he gave in the '80s of 19th century, it can be perceived how Morris connected the gods of Nordic Mythology with mankind, creating a parallelism between gods and heroes in a utopian perspective.

William Morris and the Poetic Edda

ZIRONI, ALESSANDRO
2016

Abstract

Since his youth, William Morris was interested in Medieval culture, in particular in the Nordic literature. But it is only in 1868 that he began, with the help of the Icelander Eirikr Magnusson, to read and translate Icelandic sagas and other nordic texts. The essay investigates the activity of William Morris as translator of Old Norse texts, giving a particular emphasis to the chronological order of his 'Nordic' work: A double table is offered: the first one gives information about William Morris' translations, writings and unpublished works, the second one, for the first time, gives a correspondence between Morris' calligraphic manuscripts and his Nordic produciton. From these tables emerges that the Nordic activity of Morris characterized a large part of his life during which he ruminated Icelandic sagas and Eddic materials. The second part of the essay is devoted to the peculiar work Morris did on prose and poetic Eddas.Translating the Saga of the Volsungs (strictly connected to Eddic heroic poems) Morris inserted translations from the poetic Edda and his use of those poetic texts as an instrument to give light on obscure passages of the saga texts is analyzed. Finally, it is edited and discussed a unupblished text by William Morris (it was edited only partially by previous scholarship) devoted to the Ragnarök (the end of the gods' world) which he knew through the poetic Edda and, more deeply, by Prose Edda. From this text, "The Mythology and Religion of the North" , a lecture he gave in the '80s of 19th century, it can be perceived how Morris connected the gods of Nordic Mythology with mankind, creating a parallelism between gods and heroes in a utopian perspective.
Studies in the Transmission and Reception of Old Norse Literature. The Hyperborean Muse in European Culture.
211
237
Zironi, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/578904
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