Laughing Shall I Die (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
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Reaktion Books
5 illustrations
236 x 152 x 30 mm
726 g
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Laughing Shall I Die (inbunden)

Laughing Shall I Die

Lives and Deaths of the Great Vikings

Inbunden Engelska, 2018-04-16
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In this robust new account of the Vikings, Tom Shippey explores their mindset, and in particular their fascination with scenes of heroic death. Laughing Shall I Die considers Viking psychology by weighing the evidence of the sagas against the accounts of the Vikings' victims. The book recounts many of the great bravura scenes of Old Norse literature, including the Fall of the House of the Skjoldungs, the clash between the two great longships Ironbeard and Long Serpent, and the death of Thormod the skald. The most exciting book on Vikings for a generation, Laughing Shall I Die presents them for what they were: not peaceful explorers and traders, but bloodthirsty warriors and marauders.
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"[Shippey's] text maintains an entertaining and approachable tone that would not overwhelm a novice to the field. He effectively shares his knowledge of the content area in a way that avoids dwelling on minutiae."-- "Folklore" "Fascinating . . . Spirited, engaging, and frequently very funny, this book is as memorable and enjoyable as the medieval stories it explores--an unmissable read for anyone interested in the Vikings."-- "BBC History Magazine" "Shippey's account of the mindset and motives of Vikings offers a judicious challenge to scholarly orthodoxies, while reaching out to a much broader readership. The horned helmets may have been banished, but the tough-minded and rapacious marauder now reappears in ways that deserve serious attention. . . . A tour de force. Its author has done Viking studies a memorable service."--Andrew Wawn, University of Leeds "With his usual erudition and insight, Shippey has shed some light on an always interesting question: how different from us can a strange people (the Vikings) be and still be considered human? Put another way: what does the difference between how those people see themselves and how we see them say about our capacity for sympathy and understanding? In Shippey's hands the Vikings are a challenging subject, but an illuminating one."--Stephen R. Donaldson, author of "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" "A lively retelling of some great stories."--Judith Jesch "Times Literary Supplement" "As tough and uncompromising as the Viking heroes whose lives and deaths it recounts, Shippey's book also shares their dark sense of humor. . . . Shippey upsets entrenched positions, dissects legend from history, and reveals how the Vikings were able to dominate in the North for more than three centuries."--Carolyne Larrington, University of Oxford "author of The Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes" "Here are two take-aways from Shippey's latest book: One, 'Viking' was a job description, not a racial or ethnic designation; and two, a quality demanded of those Vikings was a finely honed, mordant sense of humor that perhaps we modern nine-to-five cubicle-dwellers would find difficult to understand. That sense of humor includes composing, on the spot, even as the composer is being bitten to death by a pit-full of adders, a beautiful song that will be handed down through the ages. The song concludes with the line, 'Laughing shall I die, ' primarily because the dying Viking knows his sons are coming to wreak vengeance on the king who put him in the pit and will subject said king to a longer, slower, far grislier demise. It's pretty funny, apparently, if you're a Viking."--Jennifer Bort Yacovissi "Washington Independent Review of Books" "Magnificent. . . . Lively, friendly and occasionally barbed. . . . Shippey's magnum opus provides not only an exhilarating, mind-expanding appraisal and retelling of Viking history but also an invitation to discover the cold-iron poetry and prose of the medieval North. Take up that invitation."--Michael Dirda "Washington Post" "Shippey sails gallantly between the skerries of faculty-room 'comfort zones, ' defiantly portraying the Vikings 'in their own terms.' . . . He shows us that both literary and archaeological evidence can help to bring us closer to the Old Norse mindset, providing fascinating proof of the Vikings' own intellectual examination of their place in the world."--Karin Altenberg "Wall Street Journal" "This new book will become a classic. For me it was a must-read, and a very pleasant one at that. Shippey takes the reader deep into the world and thought of the Vikings. Along with exploring their violence, travels, and technology, he asks: 'what gave them their edge?, ' and 'how did they get away with it for so long?' His answers often focus on the strange (if I may say) amusem

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`As tough and uncompromising as the Viking heroes whose lives and deaths it recounts, Tom Shippey's book also shares their dark sense of humour . . . Shippey upsets entrenched positions, dissects legend from history, and reveals how the Vikings were able to dominate in the North for more than three centuries.' - Carolyne Larrington, Professor of Medieval European Literature, University of Oxford.


Tom Shippey is Professor Emeritus of Saint Louis University, Missouri, and concurrently Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin. His books include J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century (2010), The Road to Middle Earth (4th revd edn, 2004), and Hard Reading: Learning from Science Fiction (2017).