Carol McGirr - The Laxdala Saga and Other Tales
Founder of the long-lived Fireside Epic series, Carol’s impact on Canadian storytelling was profound. Through her courage in telling from the oldest, longest stories she brought courage to others. Productions of The Iliad, The Odyssey and the Kalevala in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver have all had Carol’s inspiration at their hearts.
For her work with saga, she was given the honorary name Carol Karlsdottir by the Icelandic-Canadian community.
She believed “storytellers come and go. It is the story that lives happily ever after.” From this came her commitment to “Staying out of the story’s way.” Her repertoire of other saga material, of myths, folktales and literary stories from around the world was legendary. She appeared at storytelling events across the land.
Sadly, Carol passed away in January 2019. She is deeply missed by her many storytelling friends and family.
Permission and Sources
All these stories are in the public domain and available to storytellers for retelling. Acknowledgment of both Carol McGirr and StorySave is requested, as appropriate.
The Laxdala Saga. Main source: The Laxdala Saga by Hermon Palsson and Magnus Magnusson (Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth, 1969). Secondary sources: The Laxdaela Saga by Margaret Arent (University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1964); The Complete Sagas of the Icelanders. Vidar Hreinsson, General Editor (Viking Age Classics, Leifur Eriksson Publishing, Reykjavik, 1997); From the Sagas of Norse Kings by Snorri Sturluson (Dreyers Forlag, Oslo, 1967). Also research and travel by Carol McGirr.
“The Legend of Saemund the Wise.” Saemund’s story is referred to throughout Iceland. Carol has woven the telling from these references.
“Audun and the Bear.” Hrafnkel’s Saga and Other Icelandic Stories (Penguin Classics, Hammondsworth, 1971.
“The Girl Who Took a Snake for a Husband.” The Dreamer Awakes by Alice Kane (Broadview Press, Peterborough, 1995). An Albanian Wonder Tale.
“The Ugly Duckling.” By Hans Christian Andersen, in various translations.
“The Owl Was a Baker’s Daughter.” As heard from storyteller, Sandra MacCallum, at 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling (Toronto).