FUTURE EVENTS




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The Dragon and the Smith:
William Morris, JRR Tolkien and the Legend of Sigurd the Volsung

An illustrated lecture by Dustin Geeraert, U. of Manitoba

Monday, November 15th, 2021 at 7:30 pm EST
Zoom Event 




William Morris, Kelmscott Press. "Sigurd the Volsung".

In the 1860s William Morris and the London-based Icelander Eiríkur Magnússon began translating Icelandic sagas into English. They soon published the first ever translation of Völsunga saga, as The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, with Certain Songs from the Elder Edda, in 1870. This archetypal Norse dragon-slayer dragon-slayer legend inspired a range of later poems, prose tales, and articles by William Morris and by his successor in Norse-inspired medievalism, J. R. R. Tolkien. Both medievalists immersed themselves deeply in the Norse legacy of Eddas and Sagas, and in response cultivated a Romantic philosophy of craftsmanship. In their various versions of the Volsung legend two figures stood in stark contrast in the roles of creator and destroyer: the Dragon and the Smith.

Dustin Geeraert teaches literature in the English and Icelandic departments at the University of Manitoba. He is editor of ‘The Modern Reception of the Medieval Saga of the Sworn Brothers’ (Scandinavian-Canadian Studies 26, 2019) and The Shadow Over Portage and Main: Weird Fictions (2016, with Keith Cadieux), and has published articles in Journal of the William Morris Society (2012), The Lovecraft Annual (2014), Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies (2018), and From Iceland to the Americas: Vinland and Historical Imagination (2020).




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