Translating Medieval Icelandic Sagas
Re-bending the Bow of Án the Archer
Within the framework of Translation Studies, much consideration has been given to the role recipients play in a translation process. However, a number of important questions arise in this regard when considering the translation of texts that are culturally and historically distant. In this contribution, I will explore the challenge of translating medieval Icelandic sagas, to demonstrate how crucial it is that translations of such texts be carried out not only with the supposed public in mind, but also by valorizing the cultural and historical specificities of the source-texts themselves. Examples will be drawn from my own recent experience of translating Áns saga bogsveigis into Italian (Saga of Án the Archer), an Old Icelandic fornaldarsaga (Legendary saga) written at the end of the fifteenth century.
Keywords: Translation Studies • Áns saga bogsveigis • Old Icelandic literature • Fornaldarsögur • Translation practice