Vol. 24 (2017) pp.11-12.

Title: “Editor’s Note”

Author: Helga Thorson
Statement of responsibility:
Marked up by
Martin Holmes
Statement of responsibility:
Helga Thorson University of Victoria
Statement of responsibility:
Book Review Editor/Rédactrice des comptes rendus
Natalie M. Van Deusen University of Alberta
Statement of responsibility:
Technical Editor
Martin Holmes University of Victoria

Marked up to be included in the Scandinavian-Canadian Studies Journal
Source(s): Thorson, Helga. 2017. Editor’s Note. Scandinavian-Canadian Studies Journal / Études scandinaves au Canada 24: 11-12.
Text classification:
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  • MDH: created empty file 24th May 2017

“Editor’s Note”

Helga Thorson

Scandinavian-Canadian Studies/Études scandinaves au Canada promotes the study of Scandinavian studies in Canada. The journal publishes articles, review articles, book reviews, and, in recent years, also scholarly editions and translations. In 2013, under the direction of the previous journal editor, John Tucker, volume 21 of the journal included its first translation and edition: “Sigrgarðs saga frækna: A Normalised Text, Translation, and Introduction” by Alaric Hall, Steven D. P. Richardson, and Haukur Þorgeirsson. This was followed by Errol Durbach’s modern translation and adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in volume 23. I am pleased to report that there has been increasing interest in the publication of translations and editions—culminating in three new translations in the current volume.
Volume 24 begins with an analysis by William Sayers of the role and textual function of the axe in Egils saga Skallagrímssonar and how axes, and particularly the beautiful battle axe that was a gift from the King of Norway, serve as symbols in the text and comment on the relationship between Iceland and Norway in the thirteenth century, which Sayers posits as the likely date in which the saga was composed. This is followed by three translations from different time periods and geographical regions. The aim is to make these texts available to students, researchers, as well as anyone interested in reading great works of literature in translation.
In “The Spaewife’s Prophecy: A Verse Translation of the Norse Poem Vǫluspá, with an Introduction and Notes,” Judith Woolf provides a translation of the epic poem Vǫluspá that is meant to be read aloud. The poem is contextualized in Woolf’s introduction and in the extensive notes that follow the verse translation—providing a reading and listening experience that is simultaneously exciting, entertaining, and educational. Susanne M. Arthur provides a translation and normalized edition of the miracles about St. Olaf preserved in AM 325 IV α 4to, or what has come to be known as the seventh and eighth fragment, based on Jonna Louis-Jensen’s 1970 edition. The edition and the English translation appear side-by-side, allowing for easy comparison and study. The translation of these two fragments complements the previously published translation of six fragments from The Oldest Saga of Olaf the Saint published in The Legendary Saga of King Olaf Haraldsson, edited by Susanne M. Arthur and Kirsten Wolf and translated by Joyce Scholz and Paul Schach. Jumping ahead to the mid-twentieth century, the final translation in this section is John Lingard’s English translation of the Danish playwright Kjeld Abell’s Den blå pekingeser [The Blue Pekinese] performed and published in Copenhagen in 1954. Lingard’s translation brings this drama in two acts to life for an English-speaking audience, and his introduction, which is a reprint of an entry in volume 214 of the Dictionary of Literary Biography, promotes and contextualizes the work of this important Danish dramatist and draws attention to his experimental theatre techniques.
Review articles published in this journal typically display one of two distinct purposes: they either analyze and compare multiple works on a specific topic or they delve deeper into the issues raised in one particular book. Peter Stenberg’s review article in this volume addresses the life story and poetry of Melitta Urbancic, a Viennese Jewish author and actress who, together with her husband, fled to Iceland during the period of National Socialism. Stenberg not only reviews the book Frá hjara veraldar. Vom Rand der Welt, edited by Gauti Kristmannsson, but also analyzes the content and form of Melitta Urbancic’s poetry after her arrival in Iceland and compares her poetic form to other Austrian poets living in exile during this period.
Volume 24 of the journal includes seven book reviews that span a variety of topics including reviews of books on: women in early medieval Scandinavia, manuscripts from the Arnamagnæan Collection, the polar ship Fram and its three voyages, postwar Swedish politics and culture in light of German National Socialism and the Second World War, Swedish-American cultural festivals in the Rocky Mountain region, Swedish immigrants to Canada, and Sámi health and healing practices. I would like to express my appreciation to Natalie van Deusen, the Book Review Editor of Scandinavian-Canadian Studies/Études scandinaves au Canada, for organizing these interesting and informative reviews. In addition, I would like to thank Martin Holmes, the Technical Editor of the journal for all his hard work behind the scenes and to Valérie Duro for her French translations of the introduction and abstracts. A final thank you goes to the journal’s editorial board, the authors, translators, and book reviewers whose work is featured in this volume, and the various article and translation reviewers who spend countless hours ensuring that the quality of the work published in this journal continues to be high.

Helga Thorson,
University of Victoria