I’ve been reading up on mythology lately. I must be working my up to the Bible, which I’ve never read in its entirety not because of the size of it, but because I’ve always felt I’m supposed to read it. Who ever wants to read what they are supposed to read? And this is coming from someone who reads like she breathes. Okay, well, I’m asthmatic. Perhaps that isn’t the best comparison!
I am just finishing up this book:
It was written in the 1920’s, and has some great illustrations. It’s also pretty readable, which is saying something. So many translations are impenetrable! Or maybe they’re not so, if you’re a history major and used to dry prose. I’m an English major. I’m in it for the romance, for vestigial history only. If I can’t get interested in the story of it, then I’m going to go and read something else. I have the feeling that this edition was meant for kids or young adults, because it’s a little too readable. Plus, it left out a lot of the gorier bits– like who ate whom, the exact kinds of revenge taken, etc.– and while I did miss the brutality of the myths, I did like that I could actually tell what was going on.
It seems as though I’m not the only one fascinated with Norse Myth all of a sudden. I wonder what’s going on in our Zeitgeist that it’s so popular lately? To me, it feels more foreign than Greek or Roman myth. Not only do we get a lot of that stuff in high school, but my own origins are Mediterranean and just as Greek, Italian, Turkish and Armenian food doesn’t seem foreign– the myths don’t, either. For something truly strange and unfathomable, I have to go North. Nordic.
Hey, maybe that’s why I love Ikea, too! Ha.
I want to use some facet of this in my writing, but now that it’s getting so popular– the making and casting of the movie, Thor, is getting a lot of attention over on io9 and that’s just one little piece of coverage. But maybe I should just stick with it. Maybe by the time I’m done writing what I’m writing, I can ride the Nordic wave, or it ill be an unpublishable piece of shit and I won’t have to worry about it! Hm. That might sound negative, but it actually comforts me.
Anyway, my favorite character in this particular version of Norse Myth is Loki. Thor is just all about that damned hammer. Odin is pretty interesting, I do like him, but Loki’s the one the most interesting stories spin from. He’s so dual-natured. Odin appears to make bad or questionable decisions, too– in fact, all the gods and goddesses do– but Loki has more character development (at least in this edition). He acts out because he wants approval, attention– or because he’s pissed off. He just seems real.
I want to use him, somehow, this trickster character. But how in the world do I fit him into the mystery I’m writing? Oh, Hell. I mean, do I go ahead and imbue this character with mythical features, and just be kind of nebulous about it? Or should it all be symbolic and not real at all? I’m just not sure enough of what I’m writing to know.
When Beck wrote Sea Changes I remember reading that he wanted to hear a certain sound, and he couldn’t find it in his own record collection, so he made it himself. That’s the album he made– what he wanted to hear and couldn’t find.
So, would I like to read a mystery, where you weren’t sure if one of the main characters was real or not, a mythical creature or not? Actually, I would. I would like to read that. Okay.
Now I get to research Loki some more.