Deictic Traces of Oral Performance in the Codex Regius Version of Vëluspá

Bernt Øyvind Thorvaldsen

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This article offers an interpretation of the references to the speaker and audience in the Codex Regius version of Vëluspá. It is argued that these expressions can be explained from the background of oral performance, including the much debated references to the speaker in both first and third person. The immediate proximity between speaker and audience enables effects which are documented in oral storytelling from other contexts: the scene of performance is directly associated with the stories being told, even in deictic references. This articleââ¬â¢s point of departure is Lars Lönnrothââ¬â¢s suggestion that Vëluspá presents a double scene, a meaningful interplay between the concrete performance and the mythological frame story referred to in the poem. While Lönnroth commented mainly on Vëluspáââ¬â¢s first eight stanzas, this article investigates the entire poem, as preserved in the Codex Regius manuscript.

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ISSN 1890-5455

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