As you saw, if you read yesterday's blog, I got wiped out. I plugged in the commuter and went to bed. I spent this morning, all morning, at the dentist's and I'm cooking dinner for a friend who is coming at 6. So I have time to fill in a few blanks, still on about Icelandic literature. The tone of the sagas is what impresses me most. It is so laid back, so factual, so seemingly unemotional even when it describes the most harrowing events. The narrative never goes inside a person's head. We are told and we see what they are doing; we see but we don't hear their thoughts. It's sort of like play-writing, which is probably why I I lke it so much. With plays you don't have the many and various means available to a novelist to tell a story. With plays you have what a person says, what he does, and what other people say about him, keeping in mind that people are unreliable and not always truthful (a good trick). So there's no stream-of-consciousness. If you're lucky, you get a monologue such as Shakespeare wrote. Contemporary playwrights use the monologue a lot but they aren't Shakespeare. I digress. Where was I? Ah yes, the sagas.
Well, Snorri Sturluson wrote them down and for that we are grateful. Icelanders, like most early people, before reading, loved to be told stories, loved to hear the tales told around a fire in the dark, Icelanders more so, maybe, because the darkness lasted so long.
Oh dear, I wrote a lot more and I pushed the wrong button (again) and it's gone. It's too late now write it again. I'll try again tomorrow.