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Repetition in Old Norse Eddic Poetry: Poetic Style, Voice, and Desire

Sandberg, Peter Benedict; (2018) Repetition in Old Norse Eddic Poetry: Poetic Style, Voice, and Desire. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis examines the use of repetition as a poetic device in Old Norse Eddic verse from a primarily stylistic point of view. Previous studies have noted the prominence of repetition as a feature of Eddic poetry, but without engaging in an in-depth analysis of the use and significance of Eddic repetition as this thesis does. The analysis begins at the level of syntax in the Eddic strophe, establishing in the first place the syntactic formulae that constitute the most basic building blocks of repetition in Eddic poetry, focusing closely on individual lines and strophes from a broad range of texts. From there the analysis follows the increasing complexity of Eddic repetition, moving from pure syntax to the use of deictic markers in dialogic repetition, as well as the distinct yet clearly related style of repetition of individual words in Eddic poems. These strands of analysis are finally synthesized in the examination of the sophisticated programs of repetition in certain individual poems, particularly Skírnismál and Vǫlundarkviða. Through an analysis of the stylistic structure of repetition in these texts, a completely new reading and fresh understanding of them is possible. The methodological basis of the thesis is close reading and linguistic and stylistic analysis, with extensive reference to a wide range of linguistic, literary, and critical theory. Methodological sources have been selected on the basis of their usefulness to the task at hand rather than the validation of a wider methodological program, and the results provide a productive interrogation both of existing scholarship on Eddic poetry and of the assumptions of the methodological sources. The result is a new understanding of the source material as well as a valuable addition to the study of verbal art in general.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Repetition in Old Norse Eddic Poetry: Poetic Style, Voice, and Desire
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051080
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