Kæri Fiðr: Assessing the legacy of Finnur Jónsson
Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 16.30
Finnur Jónsson (1858-1934), professor of Nordic philology at the University of Copenhagen, was among the most prominent and prolific Old Norse scholars of his day, producing editions, often more than one, of an extraordinarily large number of works both in verse and prose. In addition to his editorial activity, Finnur also wrote hundreds of studies of a literary historical or critical nature. The list of his publications compiled shortly after his death comprises over 500 items.
Although Finnur Jónsson was without question one of the most important figures in the history of Old Norse philology, he was, and remains, also one of the most controversial. He engaged in protracted academic feuds with a large number of other scholars during his lifetime, and many of his publications have been the subject of highly critical assessments following his death.
In my paper I will attempt a reassessment of Finnur Jónsson’s legacy, trying to prove neither that he was a far better nor a far worse scholar than previously believed, but attempting simply to understand better what he did and why he did it, and show how his ghost in many ways still haunts us today.
Matthew Driscoll (Cand.mag., DPhil (Oxon.)) is Professor of Old Norse Philology at the University of Copenhagen. His publications include articles and books on various aspects of late pre-modern Icelandic literature, as well as editions and translations of a number of medieval and post-medieval Icelandic works.
The talk will be delivered in English. All are welcome to attend.