Richard and Margaret Beck Lecture Series. Dr. Torfi Tulinius.

Richard and Margaret Beck Lecturer Dr. Torfi H. Tulinius is Professor of Medieval Icelandic Studies in the School of Humanities at the University of Iceland. His scholarly fields of interest include Medieval Icelandic Literature, Medieval History, Narrative Theory, and Psychoanalysis.

Tulinius will present 3 lectures (all free and open to the public):

  • The Detective Novel in Icelandic: From Jóhann M. Bjarnason to Arnaldur Indriðason
     Nov. 1, 2015, 2:00-4:00 pm CLE A203

A brief history of the detective novel in Icelandic, with a focus on one of its most successful practitioners, Arnaldur Indriðason, who was born in 1961. In a career that now spans close to 20 years, Arnaldur has achieved international prominence. Dr. Tulinius will show that Arnaldur’s appeal resides partially in the way he uses Icelandic local history, folk beliefs, as well as references to Icelandic literature, in order to ground his narrative in a rich and multi-layered cultural history. At the same time, he broaches issues that are relevant in contemporary Iceland. But there is more to Arnaldur’s particular brand of the detective novel, since he also taps into deeper concerns of the human psyche, as Dr.Tulinius will discuss in the final part of Tulinius talk.

  • Introduction to the Old Norse World Through the Saga of the Viking Poet Egill
    Nov. 2, 2015 3:00-5:00 pm COR A125

The world of the Vikings and the Sagas is a colorful and vibrant one. The aim of this lecture is to give an overview of the Viking expansion of the 9th and 10th centuries, which led to the establishment of a new society in Iceland and the way this society produced a culture that was part of the Nordic world but also completely unique. Among the subjects discussed are the establishment of the Free State, the role of law and revenge in Iceland, and the complex relationship with the rest of the world. Examples will be taken from the rich literary heritage of Iceland: myths, poetry and sagas. The Saga of Egill Skallagrímsson will provide most of the examples as Dr. Tulinius has recently published a book-length study of this extraordinary saga.

  • Medieval Romances in Iceland: Old Norse Translations from Old French
    Nov. 3, 2015 ECS 124 4:30-5:30 pm

A considerable amount of medieval French literature was translated into Old Norse in the Middle Ages, i.e., lays, chansons de geste and romances. Though the translations seem to have been done in Norway, almost all of the manuscripts preserving them are Icelandic. This lecture will be in three parts. The first will describe the texts that were translated, how it was done and to what extent they should be called adaptations. The second will go on to describe the social and historical conditions for this translation activity, why it mainly took place in the 13th and 14th centuries. The particular Icelandic transmission of the texts will be related to the way Icelandic society evolved during the period. In conclusion, Dr. Tulinius will briefly discuss how the translations from Old French relate to the more autochtonous literature.