A World Storytelling Day 2013 tribute to “Fate and Fortune”
Calgary Storyteller Karen Gummo will join with Olds Storyteller Mary Hays to bring you excerpts of the beloved Icelandic Saga of the tragic hero Grettir Asmundarsson – a man who lived in the late 900s and whose saga was told around the smoky badstofas of Iceland by farmer poets until it was finally recorded by an unknown author on the 1400s.
This is a psychological portrait of a strong man who becomes an outcast, afraid of the dark. Grettir carries out feats of strength and courage to win back his good name. We can find ourselves in this character.
In the words of translator Bernard Scudder: “No other saga hero has held such appeal to the Icelanders and is widely seen as personifying the national character. As the clergyman Matthias Jochumsson said around the end of the 19th Century, « You Grettir are my nation.”
Grettir Asmundarsson in his latter years as an outlaw banished to the fringes of his Icelandic homeland and society is bouyed by his mother’s love and deeply troubled by his encounter with Thurid an old crone. Does this old one still posses her skills in the magical arts?
This adult story features the tension between the adoption of Christianity in Iceland and the worship of the Norse Gods.