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Landscape of Desire

Landscape of Desire: Partial Stories of the Medieval Scandinavian World

Gillian R. Overing
Marijane Osborn
Copyright Date: 1994
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 168
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.cttttd6z
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  • Book Info
    Landscape of Desire
    Book Description:

    The exhilarating journey of two female scholars is described in this book, which describes their travels as they follow Beowulf’s sea route and explore legendary sites from the Icelandic sagas.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8561-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxii)

    It is hard to say when, or more to our point,wherethis book began. It began in many places for varied reasons, and to write an introduction to it is to collect fragments from our past experience, and to discover the threads that might connect them to the present. We are, by profession, medievalists, leaning rather heavily toward Old English, and this we hold in common. The first place we hold in common is the north of England where we met: the fell country just south of the Lake District, the browner, bleaker cousin to Wordsworth’s glorious landscapes. But...

  5. CHAPTER 1 Mapping Beowulf
    (pp. 1-38)

    In August 1985 we attempted to “reinvent” Beowulf’s voyage to Heorot. Marijane will give some of the scholarly reasons for our journey in the next section of this chapter; what follows first is an account of the voyage, the experience of it, what we had hoped to discover and what we actually learned. This is a tale some might call it a tall one told as a story, rather than a history, of a sea journey. It is necessarily a partial story, for all those reasons that we discussed in the Introduction, and also an experiment in that it mixes...

  6. CHAPTER 2 Geography in the Reader
    (pp. 39-94)

    The places and questions examined in this chapter come largely from our observations and experiences traveling in Iceland. We set out with some specific academic goals and, of course, some conceptual maps in our minds. I (Gillian) had received a grant to develop a new course, and as part of the process of amassing teaching materials we planned to visit and photograph sites of five well-known sagas (those of Egil, Njal, Laxdsela, Hrafnkel, and Grettir). One express purpose was to consider the realism of the geographical and historical information in the sagas. Our hypotheses and aims, however, were changed and...

  7. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  8. CHAPTER 3 The Saga of the Saga
    (pp. 95-118)

    We had originally planned to cowrite a conclusion in which we would narrate our own “saga.” We had imagined an anecdotal travelogue, set in the context of the epic and saga landscapes that we had traversed, and informed by contemporary thinking about women, autobiography, and place. Our “saga” was to be a self-conscious examination of our own life journeys seen in relation to the northern medieval “landscapes of our desires.” As usual our practice has revised our theoretical intention, and we plan now to attempt both more and less—and other—than we had intended. As our second journey in...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 119-126)
  10. Works Cited
    (pp. 127-134)
  11. Index
    (pp. 135-141)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 142-142)