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Size matters: Penile problems in sagas of Icelanders

Phelpstead, Carl Luke ORCID: 2007. Size matters: Penile problems in sagas of Icelanders. Exemplaria 19 (3) , pp. 420-437. 10.1179/175330707X237230

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This article explores the relationship between men's genitals and men's identities in medieval Iceland by analysing accounts of penile problems (impotence, a penis that is surprisingly small, and one that becomes too large) in Egils saga, Grettis saga, and Njáls saga. Accounts of castration in Grágás and Íslendinga saga provide a context for the main discussion and the article also evaluates the usefulness of psychoanalytic theory, arguing that Freudian theory can usefully highlight similarities between medieval and modern, but is insufficiently sensitive to historical difference, and suggesting that Lacanian theory may prove more fruitful in future work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
Uncontrolled Keywords: Egils saga; gender; Freud; impotence; Grettis saga; Iceland; Lacan masculinity; sexuality; phallus; psychoanalytic theory; Njals saga
Publisher: Maney Publishing
ISSN: 1041-2573
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:35

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