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In this stimulating and reliable introduction to the Icelandic saga, Peter Hallberg correctly designates the genre as Scandinavia's sole, collective original contribution to world literature. These prose narratives dating from the thirteenth century are characterized by a psychological realism which sets them apart from all other contemporary forms of European literature. Mr. Hallberg's emphasis is on the branch of saga literature which deals with the native heroes--with the settlement of Iceland by Norse chieftains and ...

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