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Posts Tagged ‘Asgard and the Gods’

In her youth, A. S. Byatt was one of the children evacuated from an industrial city to the country to escape the Nazi bombs of WWII.  Her clueless mother gave her a copy of Asgard and the Gods to read as country comfort and to distract her from worrying about her father who was a war pilot in Africa, such a perfect gift.

Norse gods fight, make a lot of noise, smack each other around, and generally live a miserable life until they are killed off by a parent, close relative, or old classmate.  So did the thin, sickly, bony child from the industrial city read and cry, scream in the night, and fear the dark where many gods loaf?  No, not at all, for the little girl had a healthy share of Viking genes thanks to her none too careful ancestral grannies.  She found those bloody gods to be congenial companions.  She bathed in their blood.

As you know, her story came to an end.  The Nazis were defeated, her father came home, the family moved back to the industrial city, and she grew up to write and write until the children in her neighborhood called her Dame of the British Empire.

To get back at those pesky local children she put her experience and her favorite Norse gods into a small book Ragnarok: The End Of The Gods in the hope of putting some fear into the hearts of all her neighbors.  Charles Marlin

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