Sunday 17 August 2014

Book Review: The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturlson

Title: The Prose Edda
Author: Snorri Sturlson
Publication Date: (1220) 2006
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fiction
Source: Bought Copy
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The Prose Edda is the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology. Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, it tells ancient stories of the Norse creation epic and recounts the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. It also preserves the oral memory of heroes, warrior kings and queens. In clear prose interspersed with powerful verse, the Edda provides unparalleled insight into the gods' tragic realisation that the future holds one final cataclysmic battle, Ragnarok, when the world will be destroyed. (Goodreads Synopsis)

Snorri's treatment of the Elder Edda is highly influenced by his Christian views, and nowhere is this seen more clearly than in his portrayal of Loki. But this is still a famous and well-known retelling of the tales, perfect for readers who prefer reading prose to poetry. However, given the option, I would always prefer the Poetic (Elder) Edda.

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