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The Royal Irish Academy

19 Dawson Street

D02 HH58 Dublin 2

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Dublin City Council, Dublinia, the National University of Ireland and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in association with the Friends of Medieval Dublin, the National Museum of Ireland and the Dublin Festival of History are pleased to present:

Stories for Our Times? Retelling the Norse Myths

The Norse Myths, published by Quercus in 2018, is the latest in a long line of retellings of the myths and legends of medieval Scandinavia; tales that, as the publisher’s blurb points out, ‘have captured the imagination of storytellers and artists for centuries’. Reworking the Norse myths for a commercial press offered an opportunity to reflect on both the longstanding creative appeal of the myths and also the extraordinary resurgence of interest in recent years: what exactly is it about the Vikings and the stories of the Norse gods that makes them such a source of fascination for a twenty-first-century audience? This talk will draw out some of the points of connection, and fracture, that a popular retelling rests upon, and suggest some of the ways that a reworking of traditional material can be used to speak to contemporary concerns whilst also seeking to remain faithful to the medieval sources and to the contradictions and plurality of the myths that have come down to us.

Tom Birkett completed his MA and PhD at Oxford before taking up a position as lecturer in Old English at UCC in 2012. He publishes on Old English and medieval Icelandic textual and literary culture, and has recently led two IRC-funded projects in Cork on the translation of medieval poetry, and on the popular perception of the Vikings (the World-Tree Project). A new collection on Reimagining the Vikings is in press with Medieval Institute Publications, and his Norse Myths, an illustrated retelling of stories about the Norse gods, was published by Quercus last December.

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The Royal Irish Academy

19 Dawson Street

D02 HH58 Dublin 2

Ireland

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