freya_victoria (freya_victoria) wrote,
freya_victoria
freya_victoria

A.S. Byatt "Ragnarok: The End of the Gods"

"Even as a small child I was aware that there was a difference between reading myths and reading fairy tales, or stories about real people, or stories about imaginary real people. Gods, demons and other actors in myths do not have personalities or characters in the way people in novels do. They do not have psychology, though Freud used the mythical life of Oedipus as a way of describing the machinery of the unconscious. They have attributes – Hera and Frigg are essentially jealous, Thor is violent, Mars is warlike, Baldur is beautiful and gentle, Diana of Ephesus is fertile and virginal. <...>
But there is a sense in which the Norse Gods are peculiarly human in a different way. They are human because they are limited and stupid. They are greedy and enjoy fighting and playing games. They are cruel and enjoy hunting and jokes. They know Ragnarök is coming but are incapable of imagining any way to fend it off, or change the story. They know how to die gallantly but not how to make a better world.<...>
When I came to write this tale I realised that Loki was interested in Chaos – his stories contain flames and waterfalls, the formless things inside which chaos theorists perceive order inside disorder. He is interested in the order in destruction and the destruction in order. If I were writing an allegory he would be the detached scientific intelligence which could either save the earth or contribute to its rapid disintegration. As it is, the world ends because neither the all too human gods, with their armies and quarrels, nor the fiery thinker know how to save it."

Tags: литература
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