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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Breta saga 10 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II, 10) [Vol. 8, 143]

[7] ok brúðr … þurra ‘and the lady … dry’: Emended in this edn from ms. ‘ok hon brvðþurra’ (not refreshed). This emendation assumes two heiti for ‘woman’, snót in l. 6 and brúðr in l. 7, referring to the same person in coordinate clauses, rather than the f. pron. hon ‘she’ at the second mention. However, departures from expected (prose) usage on this point are paralleled in skaldic poetry including Gunnlaugr’s own: cf. the coordinate clauses in II 11/1-4, where hon ‘she’ is used in the first clause and brúðar ‘the woman’s’ in the second, and in II 11/5-8, where hon and kona ‘the woman’ are seemingly in apposition, expressing the subject of the first clause, and man ‘the maiden’ in the second. For an alternation of the same heiti, brúðr and snót, see also Gríp 45 and 46. Omission of nom. -r, as apparently here, occurs sporadically in Hb (e.g. lávarð for lávarðr in II 57/8). Bret 1848-9 retains without emendation, translating ll. 7-8 as og dem begge brat udtörrer ‘and dries them both out instantly’, without explaining how bruð- would equate in sense or grammatical function to brat ‘instantly’. Other suggestions require the postulation of unattested idioms or lexical items: Skj B (followed by Skald) emends to ok hon brauðþurra ‘and she [makes them] dry as bread’, while Merl 2012 retains *bruðþurra, apparently interpreting as ‘so dry as to be hard to eat’, but aside from the implausibility of such a formation the logic is hard to follow, since there is no question of the springs serving as food.


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