A Map of the Heart: the Icelandic sagas on the CBC

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On my drive back from Georgia this weekend I listened to a two-part podcast series from the CBC on the Icelandic sagas, "A Map of the Heart." Part I provided some background on the settlement of Iceland during the Viking Age and the culture of the people who lived there, as well as where the sagas came from and how well they reflect that culture. The second part recapped some points from the first and spent a lot of time on an in-depth look at Egils saga, the story of Egill Skallagrimsson, one of the greastest works in the saga literature and one of the inspirations for my novel No Snakes in Iceland

I hope there will be more, because there are so many other great sagas—among my other favorites are Gisli Sursson's Saga, The Saga of Grettir the Strong, and Njal's Saga—and these two episodes were excellent. The CBC being Canadian, I hope they're working their way toward covering the Vinland sagas; those are fascinating bits of history.

You can listen to Part I here and Part II here. They're worth your while, especially if you've not yet had an introduction to the sweeping, dramatic, but deeply local and personal world of the sagas.