Henrik Ibsen wrote the following of his 1857 drama, 'The Vikings at Helgeland': "It was in the Icelandic family sagas that I found, in full measure, what I needed of human covering for the moods, ideas and thoughts of which I was full at that time, or of which I had at any rate a more or less clear idea. Up till then I had been ignorant, indeed hardly heard of, these ancient Nordic literary contributions to the history of the people of our saga times. By chance I got hold of N. M. Petersen's excellent translation - excellent at least as regards the tone of the language. In these family chronicles with their various relationships and episodes between man and woman, woman and woman, altogether between human being and human being, I was met by lives of personal, rich, living content; and it was in living together with all these single, individual, personal women and men that the first raw, vague draft of 'The Vikings at Helgeland' arose."
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January 01, 2008
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