Saga Brief 25: Saga Manuscripts and the Árni Magnússon Institute (An Interview with Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir)

While Andy’s away, John will play…a recording of his interview with Svanhildur Óskarsdóttirof the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavik. Join us for a discussion of Árni Magnússon’s status as the savior of saga literature and the work of the Institute still carrying on in his name. How important is Árni to Iceland? Well, we found this picture of him:


If that’s not enough, learn how a fire in Copenhagen nearly wiped out the sagas, how vellum pages “wander” from one library to another, who upset a sixteenth-century reader so much that they wrote “damn him!” in a manuscript’s margin, and why missing white gloves causes call-in complaints to Icelandic television.

Our thanks to Svanhildur for her time, expertise, and good humor. Enjoy the conversation, and we’ll be back to Laxdæla saga as soon as John can convince Andy to come home…

Check out the Árni Magnússon Institute’s website here.

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OutroÓlafur Liljurós