Icelandic literature is best known for its skaldic poetry, its epic sagas and its complex eddas. In these sagas, local heroes wrestle with the gods, quite literally, against a stark and savage background. There are quests, heroic sacrifices and mighty armies of men and supernatural beings locked in fierce and terminal combat with each other. They help to make, in other words, people from a small, cold, poor and often foreign-dominated island feel like they belong to a larger and more noble tradition than their current circumstances might suggest.
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