This course examines “the Great Story of the North” – the epic and legendary traditions of the Völsung family (descended from Odin) and their dealings with the Nibelung family (keepers of the Rhine Gold) – in texts ranging from Old Norse Eddic poetry and sagas, to the Middle High German Nibelungenlied, to Wagner’s 19th-century operatic Ring Cycle, to Fritz Lang’s silent Nibelungen films. It will consider the appeal and import of this enduringly popular story in terms of its historical and cultural contexts, its artistic and political uses, as well as the influence it has had on the modern fantasy tradition. Taught in English.
ELTS 151: Valkyries and Dragonslayers: the Völsung/Nibelung Tradition
Instructor: Kimberly Ball