The transmission of German popular literature in late pre-modern Iceland
My project in Wolfenbüttel is part of a larger research project, funded by the Icelandic Research Fund Rannís, entitled: The sacred and the profane. Comparative studies in the reception and transmission of popular and religious literature in late pre-modern Iceland. The project explores common ground in the treatment of literature across time, including the attempted suppression of profane rímur (versified narratives) through various strategies and the desacralisation of religious texts no longer in line with the ideals of those in control of Iceland’s printing presses at any given time.
The most important religious poet in Iceland, Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614–1674) wrote «Rímur af Lykla-Pétri og Magelónu» and part of «Flóres rímur og Leós» (jointly composed with Bjarni Jónsson, d. about 1660), both based on German chapbooks. In Wolfenbüttel I intend to study the German popular literature from which the Icelandic poet worked. It will serve as a prelude to the larger undertaking of editing Hallgrímur Pétursson's rímur.