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Showing posts with label sagas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sagas. Show all posts

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Last Day in Norway with Nancy Sales Cash




We have enjoyed the posts by our guest, Nancy Sales Cash, as she travels on board the Queen Mary 2. Thanks so much, Nancy, for taking us vicariously along with you. Glenda Beall

On our last day in Norway aboard the Queen Mary 2, we went to the small town of Alesund, which was totally destroyed by fire in 1904 and completely rebuilt in the then-cutting-edge style of Art Nouveau. It's an interesting, albeit watered-down version of Paris' and Brussels' exuberant examples of the architectural style.The photo, above, in black raincoat and red hat, shows me frowning at the stiff wind atop Alesund's lookout point with the ship far below. After two weeks in cool, windy weather in 50 and 60 degrees, I am ready for some of those hot August nights you're having back in WNC. For writers, there was an interesting lecture on the ship about Norwegian and Icelandic (Norse) Sagas.The earliest ones are among the world's oldest literature, and can be found in translation. The first ones were family sagas, then came romantic sagas. Some of these are called Njal's (Niel's) Saga, Loxdaela Saga, Valsunga Saga. But the most interesting thing was that the lecturer maintained these contained most of the basic elements of drama that we as writers still use, and that have been used throughout history by people such as Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, the Brontes, etc. They are the forerunners of Moby Dick, the Forsyte Saga, and even Dallas! So, next time I'm stuck for a plot, I'm going to look up some of those old Norse Sagas, and maybe I'll come out with another Jane Eyre or Rebecca. All of the Sagas, the lecturer pointed out, have a dark 'father' who is lovable but heartless and egotistical (think Mr. Rochester), and a foreboding woman (Mrs. Danvers?) whom the lecturer equated to the trolls: whimsical, perverse creatures from the Sagas.I happened to be reading an interesting book, "Daphne," by Justine Picardie (Bloomsbury Press, 2008), a fictional account of Daphne du Maurier's life and writings which told how much she borrowed from the Brontes. In this book, the Brontes and du Mauriers and J.M. Barrie ('Peter Pan') are all mixed up, and there's a literary mystery you might enjoy reading; I did. Just goes to show: there's nothing new under the sun, and as writers we can only hope to find a new way of saying it. Finding these earliest influences on writers and writing was, I thought, a fitting end to a wonderful trip to interesting places. Hope you've enjoyed these posts for the Netwest blog; I've really enjoyed writing them, and it has helped me put the trip into a writer's perspective. Best regards, Nancy

NANCY SALES CASH grew up in Murphy and lives in Murphy and Asheville. Her short story, 'Talking To Mama,' will be published in Netwest's new anthology, 'Echoes Across The Blue Ridge,' which will be out soon. She also has a short story in Celia Miles' new anthology, "Clothes Lines,' due out in September, and was in Celia's 2008 anthology, 'Christmas Presence.' She has two published novels, 'Ritual River' and 'Patterns of the Heart,' both available from The Curiosity Shop in Murphy and Andrews and Phillips & Lloyd in Hayesville.