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10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.081

ARCHAIZATION OF “NIBELUNGEN LEGEND” IN THE FOLKLORE OF GERMAN-SCANDINAVIAN FRONTIER

E. Sarakaeva, A. Sarakaeva, I. Lebedeva, T. Macho
Monday 9 October 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-24-9 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 6, Vol 2, 661-668 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.081

ABSTRACT

Frequent economical, political and cultural exchanges between German and Scandinavian people during the Middle Ages led to the large scale changes that affected many parts of people’s lives and resulted in the appearance of German-Scandinavian frontier culture with its specific features. This article, using the example of Middle German heroic epic “Das Nibelungenlied” and the corpus of adjoining texts that comprise “the legend of Nibelungs ” aims at describing how literature transgresses boundaries, how frontier literature and folklore function in their new space, how canon texts are restructured following the effects of migration and how the ancient and the new plots can be blended in new works of art. We begin with a short review of the existing manuscripts of the medieval German heroic epos ""Das Nibelungenlied” with special attention paid to Darmstadt manuscripts (XIV-XV A.D) that contain a specific mixture of oral and written traditions of the legend. The article proceeds with description of how Nibelungen legend was transformed in the folklore of Faeroe Islands. Further the article discusses the contents of medieval Danish ballads of the Hven island "Grimhild’s Vengeance” (“Grimhildis Hæven”). The key point of our analysis is to study the process of archaization the Nibelung legend undergoes when introduced into the isolated, relatively archaic societies of North Europe. Against this cultural background the elaborate story of “Das Nibelungenlied”, rich in psychological insights and undertones, gets gradually reduced to a number of literary formulae characteristic of folk lore. At the same time another significant process typical of archaic mentality can be observed: Scandinavian story-tellers are especially careful to preserve names and details that have already lost their meaning in the new context. We believe this to indicate that they viewed the Nibeling legend as history, not literature, and did not see themselves as authors in the proper sense of the word; instead they believed that they translate real facts about real people and their deeds.

Keywords: “Das Nibelungenlied”, Nibelungen legend, German-Scandinavian frontier, archaization

PAPER DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/62/S28.081 ; ARCHAIZATION OF “NIBELUNGEN LEGEND” IN THE FOLKLORE OF GERMAN-SCANDINAVIAN FRONTIER

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