The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue by Anonymous

Monday 31 July 2017

'In two I'll slice the hair-seat / of Helga's kiss-gulper' 

In this epic tale from the Viking Age that ranges across Scandinavia and Viking Britain, two poets compete for the love of Helga the Fair - with fatal consequences.

The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-tongue is an odd little black classic. If you can remember all the names thrown at you within the first two pages you're good to go. But if not, don't worry. You'll just be incredibly confused.

The translation is thankfully very simple, as this is quite a dense tale that's hard enough to follow as it is. It follows the simple formula of men fighting over a pretty girl, but in the convoluted way that's exclusive to classic and ancient literature.

A lot of this is spent explaining family history, who is the son of who and where they're from. There is some action within all this but it's very much overshadowed.

Probably one to give a miss unless you're an expert on all things Icelandic. Unless of course you're looking for something to help send you to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely blog ^.^

    Would you mind checking out my book reviews blog at El's Book Reviews and possibly give it a follow? Super excited to read your posts!

    - El


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