When late at night I wait for her arrival, It seems my life is hanging by a thread. I offer youth, my freedom, glory, To my adored guest with flute in hand. And here she comes. She throws back her cloak And pours a steady gaze on me. I ask, “Did you dictate to Dante The pages of “Inferno?” She answers, “Yes. I did.”
Translated by Eric Gillan
Когда я ночью жду ее прихода, Жизнь, кажется, висит на волоске. Что почести, что юность, что свобода Пред милой гостьей с дудочкой в руке. И вот вошла. Откинув покрывало, Внимательно взглянула на меня. Ей говорю: “Ты ль Данту диктовала Страницы Ада?” Отвечает: “Я”.
Iceland is often said to be a literary nation, largely due to the works that were once produced there in ancient times. This literature begins with Landnámabók, which outlined the settlement and various historical events that occurred in Iceland through from the 9th to 12th centuries. The other Icelandic literature usually thought of as important are the Sagas and the Eddas. The Sagas of Icelanders, although often thought of as stories, describe many events that took place in 10th and 11th century Iceland, and are believed to portray life at this time fairly accurately. The Prose Eddas and the Poetic Eddas primarily describe Norse religion and customs as well as legends and heroes. Together, these works of literature can help us to gain a good insight into the customs and life of typical medieval Icelanders. The objective of this essay is, using example from the Icelandic sagas, to explore issues of sexuality and gender, primarily that of women- how their femininity is shown and acted out, the part that they played in society, and the equality (or inequality) surrounding the females of ancient Iceland. To be able to analyse literature for this information, it is my intention to closely examine the roles of both men and women within both the domestic and social spheres, paying particular attention to how these roles can overlap and interchange with one another. […]