The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology
The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology, by Snorri Sturluson and Jesse L. Byock (Translator). The stirring, bloody, and tragic saga that inspired such artists as Wagner, Borges, and Tolkien. Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, The Prose Edda is the source of most of what we know of Norse mythology. Its tales are peopled by giants, dwarves, and elves, superhuman heroes and indomitable warrior queens. Its gods live with the tragic knowledge of their own impending destruction in the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok. Its time scale spans the eons from the world’s creation to its violent end. This robust new translation captures the magisterial sweep and startling psychological complexity of the Old Icelandic original. Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241) was the son of an upstart Icelandic chieftain. He rose to become Iceland’s richest and, for a time, most powerful leader. Jesse Byock is a professor of Icelandic and Old Norse studies at UCLA. He is the translator of The Saga of the Volsungs and The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki for Penguin Classics.