IMHICIHU   13380
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Production, Consumption and Space in Egils saga
Zurich / Basilea
Conferencia; The 16th International Saga Conference; 2015
Institución organizadora:
Universidad de Zurich / Universidad de Basilea
This paper aims to describe and assess the role played by the production and consumption of goods as represented in Egils saga Skallagrímssonar. While the saga provides a wealth of information concerning distribution through diverse modes of transfer (such as commerce, gifts, raids, inheritance, etc.), it places much less focus on the other two main parts of the economic process. It can be suggested that, on a general level, such difference in attention derives from the nature of the source, as distribution had a much more direct political meaning for the medieval audience than production and consumption and is therefore overrepresented in a clearly political saga. Moreover, the modes of transfer appear intimately linked with specific spatial contexts and organised in identifiable patterns. By contrast, the relatively sparse references to production and consumption do not reveal immediately identifiable regularities.However, our first hypothesis is that certain contexts make production and consumption crucial to understand the ideological stance upheld by the saga, and that such contexts can be defined spatially. On the one hand, the process of settlement in Iceland and the productive activities associated with it, such as the building and management of farmsteads play a very prominent role in Egla. This can be linked with the transformation of the Icelandic mode of production from peasant-based to manorial, and with the political use of the historical past by the local elite. On the other hand, the consumption of basic goods and services (food, drink and lodging) often provides the narrative stage for scenes of highly loaded dramatism. In such contexts, we can hypothesize that the enhanced consumption of goods breaks routine and creates a defined (and tense) space of high sociability, which sets the stage for the negotiation and redefinition of social and political relationships. Therefore, both production and consumption appear as less predictable (and as more individually meaningful) than distribution, but seem to be equally influenced by spatial considerations.(La version digital de las actas del congreso solamente incluye los abstracts, no los trabajos completos)