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Imagining Vínland : George Mackay Brown and the literature of the New World

Arnold, Martin


Martin Arnold


This essay looks at George Mackay Brown's novel of 1992, Vinland, in the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century “foundation myth” literature inspired by the Viking discovery of North America as originally recounted in medieval Icelandic sagas. This body of writing ranges from the New England “Fireside Poets” to Ottilie Liljencrantz's Vinland trilogy (1902–1906) to Nevil Shute's An Old Captivity (1940). The overarching aim will be to assess Mackay Brown's Orcadian perspective on Vínland in the context of what can broadly be regarded as a literature of colonialism; that is to say, a literature that explores the unequal relationships and value differences between the colonizers and the indigenous population.


Arnold, M. (2013). Imagining Vínland : George Mackay Brown and the literature of the New World. Journal of the North Atlantic, Special volume 4, 199-206.

Publication Date Oct 1, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Journal of the North Atlantic
Print ISSN 1935-1933
Publisher Eagle Hill Institute
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume Special volume 4
Pages 199-206
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in Journal of the North Atlantic, 2014, special volume 4
Contract Date Nov 13, 2014


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