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Reviews 165 From random checks, the works annotated are very accurately noted; the annotations themselves are fluent and concise. Annotators make copious and intelligent use of referenced quotations; however controversial the article, it thus is represented faithfully (see, for instance, 257 or 458). Following annotations of some important books, references to reviews, themselves briefly annotated, are given in addition. These are helpful and might have been included a little more often—perhaps for Payne's Key ofRemembrance, 331, or Miskimin's The Renaissance Chaucer, 565? The volume's sewn binding and acid-free paper presuppose hard use and longevity. Nevertheless, the great drawbacks of this compilation appear to be that it ends at 1992 and is in hard copy only. It is reassuring tofindthat these disadvantages have been anticipated. Thomas Hahn, current General Editor of the Chaucer Bibliographies, notes (p. xi): 'Since materials for the entire series have been electronically processed and stored, it will be possible ... to issue revised editions of volumes, and eventually to produce a general index to all volumes'. H e adds that plans have been m a d e 'to generate an updatable C D - R O M version . . . which would combine data from multiple volumes and enable a variety of rapid searches', but that this 'will not replace the issue of individual volumes in hard copy, so that the series will continue to be accessible to a wide range of general users and scholars'. It is pleasing that in time the listings gathered here so competently will become more widely available and indeed will be strengthened by the use of n e w formats. Janet Hadley Williams Department of English The Australian National University Clunies Ross, Margaret, Prolonged Echoes: Old Norse Myths in Medieval Northern Society. Vol. 1: The Myths (The Viking Collection: Studies in Northern Civilization 7), Odense, Odense University Press, 1994; cloth; pp. 325; R.R.P. DKK240.00. Prolonged Echoes is written as the first of two volumes about Old Norse mythology. The subject of the first book is the Old Norse myths; the 166 Reviews subject of the planned second volume will be the reception of Old Norse myths in medieval Iceland. The title of the first volume, Prolonged Echoes, is a translated phrase from Charles Baudelaire's Correspondances (1857), and is used to signal a modern audience's potential to make sense of the legacy that has come d o w n to us like prolonged echoes from far away. The book is divided into seven chapters. In the first chapter, the author concentrates on method and sources. The second chapter is called 'The Old Norse cultural code: concepts and ideologies'. Here the author describes the inhabitants of the mythic world, she discusses the classification of the supernatural beings on the basis of their location in space, kinship and descent, social relations and their attributes, possessions and activities. The subject of the third chapter is the social world of Old Norse myths. In this chapter the author analyses the social structure of the mythic world by comparing it to the social structure of Old Norse society; especially, the rules governing the exchange of w o m e n in a society of m e n are used to throw bight on the relation between groups of mythic beings. In the fourth chapter, the author deals with what she calls 'negative reciprocity'. This is also the heading of the chapter, and signals that in the mythic world all the different groups are placed on different social levels. Therefore a positive reciprocity, which would allow exchange of w o m e n between the groups according to the rules of Old Norse society, cannot take place. Myths telling about the giants' desire for goddesses and the gods' designs upon the giant world are understood in the light of the social imbalance in the mythic world. The subject of the fifth chapter is the Old Norse creation myths. The chapter, which is called 'Creation as male pseudo-procreation', draws attention to the fact that according to Old Norse myths creation of n e w life and new classes of beings m a y take place as a purely male activity without female...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 165-171
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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