Poul Vad, Hrafnkatla and Páll Gíslason – University of Copenhagen

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Poul Vad, Hrafnkatla and Páll Gíslason

Prof. Jón Karl Helgason. Picture from Háskóli Íslands

Professor Jón Karl Helgason, University of Iceland, will give a lecture in the series of AMS Forskermøder.

Bring your lunch and we will provide coffee and tea. All interested are welcome.


In 1970, the Danish art historian Poul Vad rented a Land Rover in Egilstaðir in Iceland and drove it to Aðalból in the Hrafnkelsdalur Valley, where he met farmer and book-collector Páll Gíslason. Twenty four years later, this trip became the focus-point of Vad's celebrated Nord for Vatnajøkel, which is partially a travel book, but also a multistranded analysis of Hrafnkels saga Freysgoða.

In his paper, Jón Karl Helgason, will place Vad's work in the context of earlier British and Danish books on Iceland but also Sigurður Nordal's controversial scholarly work, Hrafnkatla from 1940. Helgason has recently published Echoes of Valhalla. The Afterlife of Eddas and Sagas and is presently working on a book on Nordal's life and works.