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The commitment to plausibility

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Chapter Summary

King Svein Ulfsson of Denmark ruled from 1047 to 1074. And if we cannot know whether Audun ever existed, a real person, Thorstein Gyduson, d. 1190, mentioned in the last line of the story, whom we know from chronicles and other sources to have been a wealthy man, claimed Audun as his ancestor. Though the filiation is not specified, Audun could either have been his grandparent or great-grandparent. But the plausibility of the Audun’s story is less a matter of real kings and real countries, than of real homely problems. Audun gets his start by helping the Norwegian shipmaster sell his goods, and the nature of this help is crucial to making the extraordinary success that Audun manages in the world of gift exchange plausible. The timeline of the story defers to the realities of dangerous ocean crossings.

Keywords: Audun; King Svein Ulfsson; plausibility



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