Þættir

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Ármann Jakobsson (University of Iceland)
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Þættir

are short episodes, mostly from the Icelandic kings’ sagas, that were published as separate narratives in the twentieth century, with the first

þættir

edition appearing in Reykjavík in 1904. Influenced by these editions, scholars began to regard these narratives as independent short stories, closely related to the sagas of Icelanders, while their connection to the kings’ sagas was mostly ignored. In the 1970s, Harris argued for a structuralist and thematic analysis of the

þættir

but met with resistance from Lönnroth (1975) who argued that the

þættir

were not a medieval saga genre. Lindow (1978) also demonstrated that the term

þáttr

, meaning a short independent narrative, was not medieval but still believed in the

þættir

as a saga genre. Jakobsson (2013, 2014) has…

1875 words

Citation: Jakobsson, Ármann. "Þættir". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 January 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19678, accessed 15 June 2024.]

19678 Þættir 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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