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Books & Films
Here we present the most exciting books and films. Save space in your travel bag. These books (and films) should be a part of you backpack.

The original Icelandic Edda is now available on internett!

It's recently established a new website for old literature treasures called Touch & Turn. One of the big books is the Icelandic Edda. This manuscript was written on Iceland in the 14th century, and is the most complete and oldest younger Edda in the world.
Photo. Vikings from Iceland.

According to the Touch & Turn`s website (www.touchandturn.com) is their mission to develop and validate an online platform for mediation of digitised books and manuscripts, creating a network in which the most impressive possessors of literary rarities in Europe take part.
The Internet opens up new possibilities for the exchange of digital copies between different institutions. Touch and Turn has initiated the project "Mediation of rare books over the Internet", involving libraries and museums from five European countries.

The project was begun in 2003 and is co-funded by the European eTEN programme designed to facilitate the deployment of telecommunications network-based services (e-services) with a trans-European dimension.

The project involves eight partners from Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy and Sweden that have digitised items from their collections using T&T technology. The project partners are:

- Karl-Franzens University Library in Graz, Austria
- Zentral und Landesbibliothek Berlin, Germany
- Swedish Institute at Athens, Greece
- University Library of Crete, Greece
- Baldini Library, Italy
- Keats-Shelley Memorial House, Italy
- National Library of Rome, Italy
- Uppsala University Library, Sweden

A common theme for choosing books was travel, demonstrating the historical impact of interaction among people sharing and observing customs, traditions and languages. The collection is an impressive representation of European cultural heritage throughout the centuries.

One of the books is written by Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241), manuscript, 14th Century, Uppsala University Library. This work, also called the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, was written in Iceland at the beginning of the 1300-century. It was intended as a guide to scaldic poetry and its different parts deal with Old Norse mythology ( Gylfaginning), the art of literary diction (Skáldskaparmál) and various meters (Háttatal). In the two parts the author is quoting several stanzas from the Poetic, also called the Elder Edda. The main part of the last section is a poem written by Snorri himself.

There are three fairly complete known medieval copies of Snorri's Edda, of which the Uppsala Edda is considered to be the oldest.

It is believed to have originated in western Iceland in the early 1300s. The text of the manuscript differs substantially from all the others; among other things, many of the stanzas given as examples are missing. The manuscript was given in 1639 by the Icelandic bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson to the Danish collector Stephanus Johannis Stephanius. Stephanius's widow sold it and several other manuscripts to Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie; it thus came to be included in the latter's donation to the Uppsala University Library in 1669.

The text of the manuscript is neatly and distinctly written. Most of the drawings of human figures that appear sporadically are quite simple; they are considered to have been made after the writing of the text. The most famous drawing covers all of page 50 and is believed to originate from the fourteenth century.

It illustrates the frame story of Gylfaginning: King Gylfe of Svitiod (Sweden) comes in disguise to Asgard, where he meets, conjured up by the Æsir, a "trinity" of chieftains: Hár, Jafnhár and Þriði (High One, Just-as-High and Third). The illustration shows the three men sitting on three thrones, placed above each other. In answer to his questions about the world and the gods, Gylfe is told by them large parts of the stories of Old Norse mythology.

With this old book as background information, it`s only make it more exciting to travel to Iceland and Norway. There are still some Vikings left in these countries, but don`t worry. Their behaviour is adjusted from thousand years ago.

Stein Morten Lund, 25 April 2004

Additional information
The company Touch & Turn is currently developing it`s online shop.
For information and order: info@touchandturn.com
Website: www.touchandturn.com

Facts about Iceland:

Formal country name: Republic of Iceland.

Area: 103,000 sq km.

Population: 281,000.

Capital City: Reykjavik.

People: 97% Icelanders.

Language: Icelandic, English.

Religion: 95% Evangelical Lutheran, 3% other Protestant denominations, 1% Roman Catholic, & some followers of Ásatrú, an ancient Norse religion

Government: constitutional republic.


Facts about Norway:

Formal country name: Kingdom of Norway.

Area: 324,220 sq km.

Population: 4.54 million.

Capital City: Oslo (pop 508,730).

People: 97% Nordic, Alpine & Baltic, with a Sami minority.

Language: Norwegian Bokmål, Norwegian Nynorsk, Northern Sami.

Religion: Christian (86.3% Evangelical Lutheran).

Government: constitutional monarchy.



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