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Faith of their Fathers: Creativity and authenticity from Medieval Icelandic sagas to the modern novel

Sargeant, Samuel 2022. Faith of their Fathers: Creativity and authenticity from Medieval Icelandic sagas to the modern novel. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Faith of their Fathers is a novel-length narrative that continues a story begun in Portfolios I and II of the 2017/2018 Cardiff MA in Creative Writing. It is set in medieval Iceland and Norway, circa 999/1000 during the Kristnitaka (the Old Norse term for the Christian conversion of the island). It follows the lives and politics of an Icelandic community as it faces a constitutional crisis in the face of encroaching Christianity. The novel is split between two divergent narratives: one opens with the murder of Christian converts, and follows the efforts of the farmer Arinbjorn, their pagan foster son, as he attempts to find the killer and unearth their motives. The other follows the complicated relationship between Freya and her husband Njall. Theirs is a marriage of convenience, as Njall is gay in a society where it is punishable by death to be so. Their traditions and way of life will put them at odds with the Norwegian King Olaf Tryggvason and his agents. For Christian and Pagan leaders alike, these murders represent an opportunity to change Icelandic politics forever. The novel is then followed with a reflective critical commentary that examines the source material that inspired and influenced the novel: the medieval Old Norse-Icelandic sagas. It examines a key component of saga literature, their structure, and explains how it can be applied to the modern thriller novel before reviewing how this structure was applied to Faith of their Fathers specifically. Finally, saga sources are examined to highlight how saga authors utilised previous material in order to authenticate their narratives whilst also exhibiting creative tendencies in their compositions. In this way the writing of Faith of their Fathers is shown to be part of a continuum of composition, translation and re-creation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 June 2022
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2023 01:30

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