Tag Archives: professor borges

On the impersonal tone of the sagas

From P. Borges: “the word saga is related to sagen, to say, in German. They started out as oral and were later written down, but because they were originally oral , the narrator was forbidden to enter into the mind of the heroes. He could not… Say that a person hated or loved; this would be to intrude upon the… (more…)

literature of early medieval europe – fragments

“In every instance, poetry comes before prose. It seems that man sings before he speaks. But there are other very important reasons for this.” A verse follows a pattern and becomes a formula. Prose is shapeless and messy, much more complicated, in a way. (p4) In Germanic verse, lines run together without breaks or punctuation. The key to finding structure… (more…)

history of early medieval europe – fragments

A.D. 449 – Rome falls and its legions withdraw from Britain.”This was an extremely important event because the country was left withouth the defenses it had counted on and was vulnerable to attacks by the Picts from the north and the Saxons from the east.” (Professor Borges, p1) “English literature starts to develop at the end of the 7th or… (more…)

german kennings

“[Germanic] poetry had developed another hierarchical poetic instrument: that is, kennings – descriptive, crystallized metaphors.” Poetic themes and elements were very redundant, and they did not begin or end with similar sounds, so the usual poetic rhythm was hard to establish. “For this poetry, which was only epic, they formed compound words to denote things whose names did not begin… (more…)