Eddukvædi

For quite some time I had wanted to get an Edda in the original language, but I never managed to find one. I did not really know what to look for. When I was rereading Gods Of The Ancient Northmen by Georges Dumézil who quotes a lot in Icelandic, I decided to see if I could find the version that he used. I do not know by heart which writer Dumézil used, but I remember that I found a copy on the internet, but it was awfully expensive, as expected. Looking a little further, I ran into the term “Eddukvædi” often followed by “Saemundar Edda”, so that was something to look for. The term “Eddukvaedi” gives plenty of hits with publications of different authors. All descriptions were so vague, that I did not really know if that would be what I was looking for afterall and I did not manage to get certainty, especially since there are the terms “Slendingasagnautgafan” and “Islendingasagautgafan” in the descriptions. Would one be old Islandic and the other modern? I ordered a publication of Gudni Jónsson (“Islendingasagautgafan” since I had not seen the other term before I had already ordered the book) which was not even that expensive. Later I saw the other term and feared that I had ordered a modern Icelandic publication, but that would still be pretty neat, since Icelandic did not change all that much over time. A couple of weeks ago I got the very nice little publication, but it only contains the so-called “heroic poems”, no “Völuspa”, no “Hávamal” (but some texts that I did not have yet, such as the short “Völuspa” and the “Solarljoth”)… Then I saw the little “II” on the back, I got a second part of a two volume book… Looking further to see if I could find a separate volume I, I found another bookshop that had the complete work for the money that I paid for half of it and I received that one yesterday. My volume II is the first 1934 print with Gangleri and his three friends in the inner cover (nice!), the new one is a 1939 reprint in an even nicer binding and Viking ships in the inner cover, the rest is exactly the same. So I compared the texts with etext.old.no since it has for example three different versions of the “Völuspa”. Mine is again a bit different, but the differences are minor, so I do not mind if I got an old or a new Icelandic version.
The moral of the story: Icelandic Eddas are not so hard to find if you know what to look for. There are different “Eddukvaedi”s and when you go for Finnur instead of Gudni Jónsson you will pay substantially more (not sure why), but just look around a little on Antiqbook.com, Abebooks (also available in other languages, such as .de) or just use Google, you will find that an Icelandic Edda is not that hard to find and does even not have to be too expensive. Make sure if you go for the same version as I did, that you take note that you buy both volumes! (and the two long Icelandic terms are the two respective volumes.)

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