Book about Snorri Sturluson: Recorder of the Norse Myths

June 10th, 2007

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The first book I created during my residency in Iceland was Snorri’s Pool, a narrative surrounding this small body of water that can still be visited. The text for the books is:
Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241)

This Icelandic poet wrote several historically important books including the Prose Edda, a collection of Norse literature and cosmology. Although anonymous, Egil’s Saga is thought to have been written by him.

After his father died, Snorri married a wealthy woman and in 1206 he settled without her in Reykjaholt. Rich and powerful, this intellectual could not avoid politics. His original support of Norway’s domination of Iceland, and his own lifestyle, which involved having illegitimate children and living with a widow, gained him enemies on many sides, including his own family.

The story of his death on September 22 is well known in Iceland. The murder was most likely ordered by King Haakon of Norway himself. As Snorri tried to exit by the back tunnel, he was killed with an axe beside the pool that still remains as a haunting reminder.

He is honored as a fine writer of poetry and prose who contributed enormously to our understanding of this culture.