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Open Access Auf den Leib geschriebene Rollen und eingefleischte Eigenschaften

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This survey investigates how body symbolism in Old Norse literature marks deviation from social roles or their emphatic fulfillment through bodily deformity. Firstly, the association of individual body parts with different mental properties is reconstructed through kennings from skaldic and eddic poetry using cognitive semantics in order to establish according types of kennings. In a second step the vices and virtues connected with these body parts and their mental properties are explored in saga narratives, demonstrating how deviance from and fulfillment of social roles is marked through deformation. This investigation thus broadens the approach of monster theory, the analysis of the monstrous body in literature, to bodies of all types of literary characters, paragons as well as outsiders.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • Until a short time ago, in German speaking countries there has neither been a periodical dealing primarly with interdisciplinary research of the Middle Ages, nor has there been a forum for regular publications in other languages. Wishing to close this gap, the journal «Mediaevistik» therefore pursues two aims: 1. To publish research methods and results which deal with studies within the different categories of the Middle Ages as a subject, and 2. to offer a forum for studies in all other important European languages and thus stressing and furthering the internationality of this particular field of research. The time frame is approx. the 8th to the 16th century, corresponding with the geographical boundaries of Latin Christianity in the High Middle Ages.

    All articles in Mediaevistik are published as full open access articles under a CC-BY Creative Commons license 4.0. There are no submission charges and no Article Processing Charges as these are fully funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched, resulting in no direct charge to authors.

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