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The Laxdaela Saga
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The Laxdoela saga is an Icelandic saga (story) of the men and women of the Salmon River valley involving the clan of Laxardalur. It is one of the most important Icelandic sagas, originally written in Old Icelandic; probably sometime around the year 1245 AD. It is noted for its mention of the first known Norseman in the Varangian Guard: the Icelander Bolli Bollason. An amalgam of historical fact, myth, epic, romance, anachronism, and literary invention, the Laxdaela Saga is, in essence, a dramatization of the circumstances surrounding a blood-feud between two sides of a great dynasty; in its second and decisive portion, it treats a love triangle that re-ignites the feud and its adjoining intrigues. Guorun Osvifursdottir, who is famous for her beauty is our protagonist. Courted by the two foster-brothers Kjartan Olafsson and Bolli Porleiksson. Guorun preferred Kjartan, but she gave herself to Bolli, because of a false rumour that Kjartan was engaged to Ingibjorg, the sister of King Olafur Tryggvason. The two foster-brothers engaged in hostilities which ended with Bolli killing Kjartan, and Bolli being killed by Kjartan's kinsmen. The story is carried forward by the mysterious workings of fate, symbolized by the prophetic dreams of Gudrun. Noted for its detached narrative style and ornately-patterned structure, the Laxdaela Saga remains a highly influential work of Scandinavian literature and is considered an outstanding example of medieval prose romance.
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