What is the saga? Origin of the word
Modern authors often draw their inspiration from ancient stories and legends. Sometimes these tales are returned to the literary world, slightly modified by the hand of a skilled author. And sometimes the author gives life to a completely new story, moving the action hundreds, thousands of years ago and calling his work in imitation of ancient legends. Writers often use words such as chronicles, almanacs, and sagas to name their works. We will talk about what the saga is.
Saga: pedigree words
The saga is the Old Norse "legend." The concept is derived from the word segja, which means "to say," "tell." The fact that such a saga, it is best to learn from the original sources - they are the ancient Scandinavian traditions. Oral sagas have practically not reached our time, but there are written sources - quite confusing and contradictory.
Tribal and royal sagas
All the old sagas can be divided into two large sections: generic and royal. What is the generic saga? This is a collection of the most archaic tales of ancient gods and heroes.As a rule, family sagas describe relationships within the same genus for several generations. These narratives are characterized by everyday realism, simple dialogues, a minimum of descriptions and comparisons. They are imbued with memories of those distant times, when the first settlers from Norway landed on the coast of Iceland, how they settled in the new land, what kind of relationship they had.
The stories of childbirth are usually intertwined in the saga for three or four generations, the narration is in the third person. As a rule, they do not contain information that is suitable for study by historians and linguists. Mostly such sagas are of interest to ethnographers and literary critics who study the cultural heritage of ancient peoples.
And what is the "royal saga"? It can already be considered as an independent literary work. It is reliably known only about two authors related to the creation of works in this genre. One of them, Snorri Sturluson, a successful politician and a poet quite famous for his time, collected all oral tales about the Norwegian kings in one manuscript. The general collection of his legends was called the “Younger Edda”.The very first sagas written by his hand, was a literary exposition of oral traditions. But later recordings, undoubtedly, already carried the imprint of the author’s personality.
The manuscripts of the Norwegian poet were generously illustrated. Unfortunately, only fragments of his works have reached us, but even this scant information allows us to highly appreciate the work of S. Sturluson.
Sagi in modern art
What does the saga mean for our contemporaries? The “Twilight Saga” is widely known, representing a very free interpretation of all human notions about vampires. Well-educated people will immediately recall the Saga of Forsyths - a well-known literary work of the English writer J. Golsuori. As you can see, only the unhurried rhythm of the story and the colorful biographies of the main characters remained from the old Icelandic saga.