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Skriva fel och läsa rätt?: Eddiska dikter i Uppsalaeddan ur ett avsändar- och mottagarperspektiv
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Scribal errors and proper readings? : Eddic poetry in the Uppsala Edda from the perspective of sender and recipient (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation focuses on the eddic poetry in the Codex Upsaliensis DG 11 4to, the Uppsala Edda. The manuscript has long been considered too far removed from the assumed original of the text to be of much use to editors, with the result that it was largely neglected by philologists during the last century. The eddic poetry in DG 11 differs in many instances from the other main manuscripts, and this study aims to examine these variants from the point of view of the 14th century scribe and reader of the manuscript. The dissertation’s framework comes close to what is known as New or Material Philology, but since the focus is more on the abstract than the material sides of the manuscript, the study’s theoretical framework is tentatively called descriptive reception philology.

In all, 57 stanzas of eddic poetry are examined. The study does not include variation in names or metrics other than alliteration, which means that 10 stanzas consisting almost entirely of names have been excluded. The remaining 57 stanzas contain 137 variants that DG 11 shares with half or fewer of the other manuscripts. These variants are analysed with the aim of deciding whether they were consciously written by the scribe and to what extent the reader could have understood them. Consciously produced variants are said to belong to the sender witness, and if they were probably understood, they are also placed in the receiver witness. Variants not immediately understood by the readers are called incongruities and need to be reinterpreted in order to become part of the receiver witness. If they cannot be interpreted, they are categorised as actual errors.

The analysis shows that the vast majority of deviating variants belong to both the sender and receiver witnesses. There are also indications that the eddic poetry was in part quoted from a different exemplar than the prose, an exemplar containing versions of the poems not otherwise known today. Rather than being regarded as confused and incomprehensible, DG 11’s eddic poetry was accepted as the version known by the manuscript’s contemporary users.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk, Uppsala universitet , 2013. , 268 p.
, Nordiska texter och undersökningar, ISSN 0280-9966 ; 31
Keyword [en]
Codex Upsaliensis DG 11 4to, Uppsala Edda, Snorri Sturluson, eddic poetry, descriptive reception philology, scribal error, Old Norse
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-197715ISBN: 978-91-506-2342-0OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-197715DiVA: diva2:614749
Public defence
2013-05-24, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 13:15 (Danish)

Disputationsspråk är både danska och svenska.

Available from: 2013-05-03 Created: 2013-04-02 Last updated: 2013-05-03Bibliographically approved

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Bäckvall, Maja
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