An exhilarating journey across a distant literary landscape, this book takes us to those places described, evoked, or invented in "Beowulf" and the sagas of Iceland. Chronicling their own travels in Scandinavia, charting the geography of medieval history and fiction, the authors negotiate the complex territory where past and present meet. In this encounter, medieval and modern viewpoints converge, forming a new way into the northern world of medieval literature. The authors use a variety of approaches, borrow from different disciplines, and employ an array of styles to discover and "reinvent" the landscape of these texts. In scholarly appraisals and personal encounters, in maps and photographs, we accompany them on a voyage along Beowulf's route and follow them along the road to Drangey. Here and at many other legendary sites, we see how the past is made up of divergent stories told in the present, and how our own histories and desires influence the shape and purpose of those stories. This book should appeal to medievalists, historians, cultural geographers, critical theorists, and those who like to travel, whether in literature or their own good time.
Part 1 Mapping "Beowulf"; reinventing Beowulf's voyage to Denmark; travelling home with Beowulf. Part 2 Geography in the reader; place in question; Iceland and Icelanders; places in question; selves in place; places in translation and the metonymy of terrain. Part 3 The sage of the saga "The road to Drangey"; where's Grettir?