PLEDGE NOW
Song Of The Vikings

This Program Is Rebroadcast From November 6, 2012

Mythic storytelling out of Iceland, and the song of the Vikings.

A black-and-white reproduction of a painting showing Norsemen in a ship. The list of illustrations on page vii gives this one the title Norsemen Landing in Iceland'. (Wikicommons)

Long ago and far away, the old Norse tales and poems of Vikings and lore were fading.  A young Norwegian king – fourteen – was enchanted by the English tales of King Arthur.  A wayfaring storyteller from Iceland stepped into the breach.  Spinning northern tales of Thor and Odin, dragon and dwarf, magic weapons and rings.

He may be the most influential medieval writer you’ve never heard of.  But Tolkien did.  And Wagner.  And Neil Gaiman.  And Michael Chabon.

This hour, On Point:  the Homer of the north, and mythic storytelling out of Iceland.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Nancy Marie Brown, author of Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths.

From Tom’s Reading List

Scienceblogs.com “Icelandic sagas and a single archaeological site in Newfoundland document a Viking Period presence of Norse people in the Americas. Now National Geographic’s November issue has a piece (here and here) on new work in the field, lab and museum collections by Dr. Patricia Sutherland. It deals with a group of additional and somewhat later sites that may expand that evidence. Dr. Sutherland, of the Memorial University in Newfoundland, kindly answered some questions of mine via e-mail.”

Video

You can watch the trailer of the book here.

Excerpt

You can find an excerpt of the book here. 

Playlist

Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros

Das Rheingold by James Levine

Concerning Hobbits by Howard Shore

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 9, 2016
Host Tom Ashbrook and producer Sarah Platt speak to supporters of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (FL) outside the candidate's Manchester, N.H. campaign headquarters on Monday, February 8, 2016. (Katherine Brewer / WBUR)

We’re live in New Hampshire for the first in the nation primary day, with all the latest on how the big vote is shaping up.

Feb 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at a Rotary Club luncheon in Manchester, N.H., Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

From New Hampshire, a deep dive, from Trump to Sanders, on how the candidates would approach the U.S. economy.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 8, 2016
Legendary film critic  Roger Ebert in an archival image from his early days at the Chicago Sun-Times. (Flickr / WikiCommons)

The critic speaks. The New York Times’ A.O. Scott on how to think about art, pleasure, beauty and truth.

 
Feb 8, 2016
Sign stands outside property for rent Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in south Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If it feels like rents are sky-high, you’re right. Some now paying more than half their income on rent. Some say crisis. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #5: Ted Cruz — The Advocate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Texas Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is an impassioned advocate, Jack Beatty writes — but mostly for himself above all others.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #4: Donald Trump — You Heard It First!
Friday, Feb 5, 2016

Jack Beatty recounts an evening rally with Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, and wonders if the billionaire businessman is really looking for an exit.

More »
Comment