Yfirnáttúruleg reynsla í miðaldabókmenntum: hugtök og hefðir

Laugardaginn 15. mars kl. 15.00-16.30 í stofu 229 í Aðalbyggingu Háskóla Íslands.

Í málstofunni er fengist við ýmsar birtingarmyndir og skilgreiningar hins yfirnáttúru á miðöldum á Íslandi. Fengist er við birtingarmyndir þess í heilagramannasögum, Íslendingasögum og fornaldarsögum. Fengist er annars vegar við skilgreiningu og greiningu þess yfirnáttúrulega, hvaða hugtök voru notuð og hvað þau merkja. Hins vegar reynslu einstaklinganna og aðgang þeirra að hinu annarlega og annarsheimslega. Athyglin beinist ekki síst að tungumálinu sjálfu og hugsuninni, sálfræðilegum forsendum yfirnáttúrulegra frásagna og merkingu þeirra fyrir viðtökuhópinn.

Erindi verða flutt á íslensku og ensku.

Fyrirlesarar og titlar erinda:
  • Ásdís Egilsdóttir, prófessor í íslenskum miðaldabókmenntum: Atburður, jartein, furða
  • Andrew McGillivray, doktorsnemi í íslenskum bókmenntum: Signy’s story: Incest and Filicide in the early Völsung dynasty
  • Miriam Mayburd, doktorsnemi í íslenskum bókmenntum: Material agency and fragmentation of the self in Kormáks saga

Málstofustjóri: Torfi H. Tulinius, prófessor í íslenskum miðaldafræðum

Útdrættir:

Ásdís Egilsdóttir, prófessor í íslenskum miðaldabókmenntum: Atburður, jartein, furða

Á Hugvísindaþingi 2013 flutti Gunnvör S. Karlsdóttir fyrirlesturinn „Atburður eða jartein?“ í málstofu á vegum rannsóknaverkefnisins Paranormal encounters. Í fyrirlestri mínum verður haldið áfram að ræða viðhorf til jarteina eins og þau birtast í íslenskum frásögnum miðalda.  Eftir siðskipti var ekki lengur heitið á helga menn ef eitthvað bjátaði á. Philip M. Soergel fjallað um breytingar á viðhorfum til kraftaverka eða óútskýranlegra atburða í bók sinni Miracles and the Protestant Imagination. (2012). Soergel kannaði svonefndar „Wunderzeichenbücher“ frá síðari hluta 16. aldar. Háskólalærðir húmanistar rituðu þessar bækur handa klerkum en þær nutu mikilla vinsælda meðal almennings. „Undrabækurnar“ sögðu meðal annars frá vansköpuðum og afbrigðilegum einstaklingum og var ætlað að minna á ófullkomleika mannsins og yfirvofandi heimsendi. Undrin voru merki um spilltan heim. Þörf er á að kanna hliðstæðar hugmyndir í íslenskum heimildum og bent verður á fáein dæmi.

Andrew McGillivray, doktorsnemi í íslenskum bókmenntum: Signy’s story: Incest and Filicide among the early Völsungar

Like many other sagas Völsunga saga has as its backbone the lineage of the main family. Völsungr Rerisson marries Hljóð, daughter of the giant Hrímnir. Together the couple bear eleven children, including their eldest son Sigmundr and sole daughter, Signý. Like other female characters in the saga Signý profoundly influences the course of events, perhaps moreso than many of the males, and her tale is one of incest, murder and ultimately death by choice. A look into the chapters in which Signý is a key character reveals elements that are repeated in the saga narrative, for example the killing of one’s children, later undertaken by Guðrún, and suicide, an act Brynhildr performs and Guðrún attempts. These three heroines are all victims of the actions of others as well as their own, and Signý is the prototype. The main question that will guide this talk is why women in the saga perform such heinous actions. Is it because the men have driven them to it, leaving them no other choice?

Miriam Mayburd, doktorsnemi í íslenskum bókmenntum: Material agency and fragmentation of the self in Kormáks saga

There is a strange scene of a duel in Kormáks saga, the building up to which seems to disproportionally outweigh its outcome. Kormákr, rash, impulsive and hot-tempered, is about to clash with Hólmganga Bersi, a seasoned dueller as his byname implies. Both carry magic weapons to the fight: Bersi a small iron-rimmed shield given to him by the witch Þorveig, and Kormákr the legendary sword Sköfnungr once wielded by king Hrólfr kraki. The stake is high for both participants: Kormákr is fighting for Steingerðr who is currently married to his opponent. For all of these factors, the duel itself is innocuous, and the worst of it amounts to Kormákr walking away with a cut in his thumb. Stranger still, this innocuous scuffle warrants as many as seven stanzas in the saga, recited by Kormákr as he describes this duel to his relatives after the event. Considering the amount of verse devoted to this incident, it may not have been as insignificant as it seems. Does it contain some crucial elements that shed more light on other parts of the story? Kormákr's memorable if brief relationship with this sword does not seem to have attracted critical attention to date. It will be argued that Kormákr's contact with Sköfnungr in its capacity as a magic weapon, as well as his deliberate mistreatment of this object, has left a direct impact on him, the ripple effects of which spreads throughout the narrative. This scene from Kormáks saga will serve us as a springboard into the bigger question – how material objects were perceived to affect bodies, and the medieval conception of the self.

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