"Prose Edda" is a work without predecessor or parallel. It was
designed as a handbook for poets to compose in the style of the
skalds of the Viking ages. It is an exposition of the rule of
poetic diction with many examples, applications, and retellings of
myths and legends. Snorri Sturluson feared that the traditional
techniques of Norse poetics, the pagan kennings, and the allusions
to mythology would be forgotten with the introduction of new verse
forms from Europe. The present selection includes the whole of
Gylfaginning ("The deluding of Gylfi") - a guide to mythology that
forms one of the great storybooks of the Middle Ages - and the
longer heroic tales and legends of "Skaldskaparmal" (Poetic
diction). Snorri Sturluson was a master storyteller, and this
translation in modern idiom of the inimitable tales of the gods and
heroes of the Scandinavian peoples brings them to life again.
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