Thorsson, Örnólfur 1953-
THORSSON, Örnólfur 1953-
PERSONAL: Born 1953.
ADDRESSES: Offıce—Leifur Eiriksson Publishing Ltd., Flokagata 65, IS-105 Reykjavík, Iceland.
CAREER: Leifur Eiriksson Publishing Ltd., Reykjavík, Iceland, editor.
(Editor, with Jón Torfason and Sverrir Tómasson) Íslendinga Sögur, Svart á Hvítu (Reykjavík, Iceland), 1985.
Brennu-Njáls Saga: Með Formala, Skýringum og Eftirmála UmÍslendiga Sögur, K, Mál og Menning (Reykjavík, Iceland), 1991.
Grettis Saga: Með Formála, Viðbæti, Skýringum ogSkrám, Mál og Menning (Reykjavík, Iceland), 1994, translated as The Saga of Grettin the Strong, [England], 1999.
The Sagas of the Icelanders, translated by Katrina C. Attwood and others, Viking (New York, NY), 2000.
Also editor, with others, of Sturlunga Saga and Heimskringla.
SIDELIGHTS: During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Icelandic scholar Örnólfur Thorsson worked with a group of his peers to bring large amounts of medieval Icelandic literature, such as the Sturlunga Saga and Heimskringla, back into print for general readers. Their efforts were well received, with Margaret Cormack of Scandinavian Studies praising "The clarity of presentation" and "admirabl[e]" editorial choices made in presenting the Sturlunga Saga. Marriane E. Kalinke, also writing in Scandinavian Studies, declared the editions "useful tools not only for Icelandic users, both students and laymen, but also for scholars worldwide." Kalinke also appreciated "the extraordinary scholarly, but not intimidating, apparatus that accompanies the edition" of Heimskringla.
Of a group of forty sagas and forty-nine accompanying tales translated into English, Thorsson selected ten sagas and seven tales for his 2000 collection The Sagas of the Icelanders. A critic for Kirkus Reviews hailed the sagas as "Irresistable tales that are, as surely as the masterpieces of Homer and Cervantes, the forerunners of the modern European novel."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2000, review of TheSagas of the Icelanders, pp. 200-201.
Library Journal, March 1, 2000, Thomas L. Cooksey, review of The Sagas of the Icelanders, p. 90.
Scandinavian Studies, summer, 1993, Marianne E. Kalinke, review of Heimskringla, pp. 441-442; winter, 1993, Margaret Cormack, review of Sturlunga Saga, pp. 118-121.
Times Literary Supplement, September 10, 1999, Tom Shippey, "The Danish Connection," review of The Saga of Grettir the Strong, p. 24.*