Bjarne Fidjestøl: The Dating of Eddic Poetry. A Historical Survey and Methodological Investigation.
Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana, vol. XL.
Edited by Odd Einar Haugen.
Redactors: Matthew James Driscoll and Jonna Louis-Jensen.
1999. xv + 376 pp.
This posthumous work by Professor Fidjestøl does not aim at presenting a new dating of the Eddic poems; it is rather a historical and critical study of previous attempts at dating, combined with a detailed discussion of the criteria which have been used.
The book is divided into a historical part, which gives a survey of the debate from the late 18th century up to Jan de Vries, and a methodological part, which presents and evaluates a number of dating criteria. When Bjarne Fidjestøl suddenly and unexpectedly died on 9 February 1994 the historical part was very near completion, and six of the planned eight chapters of the methodological part, four treating various linguistic dating criteria and two treating stylistic criteria, were nearly finished; of the remaining two chapters only short drafts have been found (discussed and rendered in the editor's postscript).
The volume, as edited by Odd Einar Haugen, concludes with a bibliography and indices of personal names, of Eddic and skaldic poems etc., and of metrical terms. The published version, it is hoped, does not differ substantially from the book Bjarne Fidjestøl envisaged, and on which he worked purposefully and diligently for more than a decade, but which he did not live to complete.