RT @melissa_marr *lit teacher moment* I didn’t write a saga–which is a specific type of text, NOT another wd for “series.”
Thank you, Melissa Marr, author of the Wicked Lovely series, for this clarification.
According to the Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory (Fourth Edition!) sagas were:
medieval Icelandic and Scandinavian prose narratives usually about a famous hero or family or the exploits of heroic kings and warriors.
Makes me wish the New Moon publicists had bothered to crack a dictionary or, heck, dictionary.com, before labeling the movie franchise The Twilight Saga. I spent four years as a groupie at the Anglo-Saxon Studies Colloquium, so this chafes me more than it does ordinary folks.
Further, Twilight is not a saga novel, an early 20th century innovation that generally involves a series of novels focusing on a large family over a period of many years. If you really want to read a saga, go pick up The Sagas of the Icelanders, a truly hefty paperback that collects these stories rendered in clean and modern English prose.
I want fan art illustrating the saga versus series struggle. In particular I want chibi Viking vs. Edward pictures. But remember, as NYU’s esteemed Anglo-Saxonist Haruko Momma reminded us non-specialists in Old English I, Viking helmets wouldn’t have had horns on them: “Would you go into battle with handles on your head? Very stupid.”
Dictionary of Literary Terms & Literary Theory. New York: Penguin Books, 1999.
The Sagas of the Icelanders: A Selection. New York: Penguin Books, 1997.