METAPHOR OF FORM IN “LILY” (architectonics of Icelandic Fourteenth century Christian Drapa)


Aim of the study is explication of the narrative technique of the person who composed “Lily”; research demands attention to the following aspects of the drapa: 1) its architectonics, i.e. correlation between the form and the content including topoi, symbolism and narrative strands; 2) the language of “Lily” and forms of narration in the text; 3) correlation between language and meter in “Lily”. The first of the three mentioned aspects of the text constitutes the subject matter of the paper, attention is also given to the value of the text in skaldic poetics and verbal culture of Iceland. Materials and methods. The first section presents information on the surviving manuscripts and shows the value of “Lily” in the culture of Iceland; references to Icelandic folklore and modern recordings help realize importance of the text. In the second section technique of the author(s) is studied with regard to both, medieval Christian literature and verbal culture of medieval Iceland. The study is carried out on the basis of edition [8] and all available Russian translations of medieval Latin literature. Analysis of the latter enables to identify the literary topoi and corresponding archetypes of medieval consciousness reflected in “Lily”. The third section is devoted to semantics of the title and to other textual symbols. The fourth section considers the mode of text existence and addresses authorship. Results. Analysis shows that the content of “Lily” does not go beyond few archetypes of medieval Icelandic and European Christian consciousness. Specificity of “Lily” is described as metaphor of form; the collocation denotes all semantic processes entailed by the transfer of the form of drapa into the sphere of traditional Christian culture. Metaphor of form is treated as a natural consequence of the main achievement of Icelandic skalds - involution of poetic form and turning it into artistic device [5], - a prerequisite to versatility of poetic content. Conclusion. “Lily” is finally classified as a text which highlights semantic and functional potential of the skaldic form and on the whole complies with the canon of skaldic poetics. Assumption is made that the author of “Lily” did not realise himself as the author of the text, though the surviving text is, no doubt, result of his individual effort. Working with traditional material, the author of “Lily” most probably created his text in accordance with principles of Icelandic Oral Tradition.

About the authors

Nataliya L Ogurechnikova

RUDN University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Department of Theory and Practice of Foreign Languages at „RUDN University“; scientific interests: the language and culture of Iceland; historical poetics, history of the English Language, theory of grammar

Miklukho-Maklaja 6, Moscow, Russia, 117198


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