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Ógæfa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland

Ógæfa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland Ógæfa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland K. T. Kanerva University of Turku n this article, I will discuss the Old Norse concept of ógæfa, typically translated as misfortune or lucklessness.1 Scholars have pointed out that it was connected to a person's fate and sometimes caused by another's curse or witchcraft. It could also be part of the person's inherent character or an irreversible burden laid on him by Óðinn. Ógæfa additionally implied a lack of happiness or a destiny that the individual him/herself freely chose, either by striving for the wrong or failing to achieve the right goals. Killing a kinsman or committing other such niðingsverk (villainy) were among the possible causes of ógæfa. In recent scholarship, ógæfa has been given Christian connotations, and gæfumaðr, a man of fortune, has been seen as denoting a good Christian in the pre-Christian period (Hallberg; Hermann Pálsson, "Icelandic Sagas"; Hermann Pálsson, "Um gæfumenn"; Lönnroth, "Kroppen"; Sejbjerg Sommer). I wish to acknowledge the guidance and encouragement as well as the support and advice given by Alaric Hall and Marjo Kaartinen, and Philip Line for his useful comments and corrections of my English. This essay is based on my "`... siltikään hän http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scandinavian Studies Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study

Ógæfa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland

Scandinavian Studies , Volume 84 (1) – Oct 11, 2012

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Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study
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2163-8195
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Abstract

Ógæfa as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland K. T. Kanerva University of Turku n this article, I will discuss the Old Norse concept of ógæfa, typically translated as misfortune or lucklessness.1 Scholars have pointed out that it was connected to a person's fate and sometimes caused by another's curse or witchcraft. It could also be part of the person's inherent character or an irreversible burden laid on him by Óðinn. Ógæfa additionally implied a lack of happiness or a destiny that the individual him/herself freely chose, either by striving for the wrong or failing to achieve the right goals. Killing a kinsman or committing other such niðingsverk (villainy) were among the possible causes of ógæfa. In recent scholarship, ógæfa has been given Christian connotations, and gæfumaðr, a man of fortune, has been seen as denoting a good Christian in the pre-Christian period (Hallberg; Hermann Pálsson, "Icelandic Sagas"; Hermann Pálsson, "Um gæfumenn"; Lönnroth, "Kroppen"; Sejbjerg Sommer). I wish to acknowledge the guidance and encouragement as well as the support and advice given by Alaric Hall and Marjo Kaartinen, and Philip Line for his useful comments and corrections of my English. This essay is based on my "`... siltikään hän

Journal

Scandinavian StudiesSociety for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study

Published: Oct 11, 2012

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