My attempt to get up to date with the backlog of recently published books continues. Slowly.
This time we have a study of contrasts: in the pagan corner, there’s Annette Lassen’s new book about Odin på kristent pergament; from the other end of the Old Norse spectrum, we have a (to me) very exciting collection of essays about the Norwegian Homily Book, Vår eldste bok, edited by Odd Einar Haugen and Åslaug Ommundsen.
If there’s such a thing as an Odinologist, Annette Lassen is one of the best, and her new book (in Danish) looks like being the most useful publication on the one-eyed god that we’ve seen for some time. It is a quite remarkably detailed critical analysis of all the Old Norse literary contexts in which Odin appears. Annette also give us a thorough history of previous Odinological research. All in all, this looks like being essential for anybody who’s seriously interested in Norse mythology–even if your Danish is no better than mine, I think there’s a lot of material in there that will be accessible.
Vår eldste bok: Skrift, miljø og biletbruk i den norske homilieboka is the third volume in the Bibliotheca Nordica series published by Novus in Oslo. I know all to well that Old Norse homilies aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but they are mine, and a book like this is well overdue. It looks at Norwegian Homily Book both as a discrete object and as a collection of texts, and examines it in all its codicological, liturgical, homiletic (etc.) contexts. It’s a really nicely produced volume, with lots of very clear illustrations. Perhaps it’s too much to hope that it’ll spark a major Norse homiletical revival, but who knows?
I can’t find this book in any online stores, but you can get it from the publishers (although I can’t give you a direct link to it, for some irritating reason: just scroll down on the homepage).