Ragnarök The End of the Gods PDF ✓ Ragnarök The

10 thoughts on “Ragnarök The End of the Gods

  1. Dolors Dolors says:

    Few epilogues have fascinated me as much as Byatt’s did in this retelling of “Ragnarök” the end of the world in Norse Mythology Instead of trying to attach human traits to the Norse gods to give a modern touch to the original story Byatt remains faithful to the nature of the myth as such allowing chaos destruction and darkness to rule over the deeply flawed insensitive godsUsing her own childhood memories during World War II Byatt introduces a nameless “thin child” who hides away in the pages of ”Asgard and the Gods” to avoid the feasible devastation that war might bring upon her life With an absent father fighting in North Africa and a distant mother devoted to academic endeavors the thin child finds solace in the finality of this myth in the idea that there is no new world after the Armageddon And yet her keen observations on nature and its cyclical regeneration and decay give the narration a kind of eternal recurrenceByatt’s erudition and refined intellect never ceases to amaze me Her mastery of the word the use of language as a malleable tool to scrutinize even the most minute detail is out of this world She combines dreamlike descriptions of English prairies that read like sumptuous poetry with almost scholarly approach to existential pondering about life death and the short sightedness of mankind when it comes to preserve the first as the precious gift it is“Ragnarök” the myth that is the end of all myths has taken a superior dimension on my mind My memory of the rugged beauty of the Icelandic landscape blends naturally with Byatt’s vision of the end of the world I see the tree of life the holy “Yggdrasil” consumed in flames the world eaten raw by demonic wolves and suffocated by giant poisonous snakes I see the end of all things uite vividly destruction embedded in the brilliance of Byatt’s prose What a scary but beautiful sight The vainglorious gods defeated by their own stupidity by their repeated inability to respect the world that gives them sustenance It all sounds too familiar to be only a myth don’t you think? Yggdrasil the Tree of Life

  2. Jaidee Jaidee says:

    5 Byatt speaks to me like nobody else stars 5th Favorite Read of 2015 uite simplyByatt is the reason I readShe has written the unbelievable novel Possession who along with Tolstoy's Anna Karenina are my two favorite novels and I have read each of them several times throughout my life and I feel nostalgic like I've come home after being exiled and I can sit and commune with the wonderful characters and plots that lie thereinRagnarok was the only Byatt I had left to read I was trepidatious as the novel was a short one and I thought I would be dissatisfied or sad that I would only get a taste of Byatt when I sorely wanted a feast of her proseThis book transported to a few places in my life and I will jot down just a few1 I was and am a very introverted child that preferred my own company to carousing with other children I also hated the bright sunshine of humid Toronto summers I remember purposefully misbehaving so that I could be banished to my cool heavily curtained bedroom There I would listen to Chopin Mozart and Beethoven and read Greek and Roman Mythology The Secret Garden Lives of the Saints and all of the various coloured fairy books by Lang I was in heaven2 In the autumn of my eleventh year falling in love with a girl one year my senior and walking through High Park eating ice cream and co creating stories about princes goblins dragons and evil ueens I also always wanted to playact Whatever Happened to Baby Jane with Joan Crawford and Bette Davismy favorite movie at the time a bit odd I know3 At the age of 16 being taken by my favorite aunt to see Wagner's Ring Cycle in its entirety Norse mythology combined with operanothing could be finer Also spending so much time with my aunt who had very little education but the most refined of tasteByatt did all this and in this most amazing little novel The novel is the re telling of the end of the world Ragnarok in Norse mythology as seen through the eyes of a little girl during the second world war in England when she and her mother leave London to live in the countryside She infuses this book with a magic and wisdom that I cannot uite articulate in words The little girl is precocious as she is both naïve child and wise crone and this lends her to speculate on the comparison of Norse mythology with Christian faith and bible stories It also helps the little girl cope with her father fighting in the war as an air pilotThe retelling of the myth is so spectacular that it defies description Each and every sentence is so carefully crafted so gorgeous and so laden with many meanings The stories touched not only my heart but went even deeper to my artistic soul I would close my eyes while reading this and picture see hear feel smell and touch all that was described in three dimensional gloryThis book was short but packed with so much wonder that I will not hesitate in placing it in Jaidee's little temple of literary masterpiecesI will let Ms Byatt have the last sayThe myths were cavernous spaces lit in extreme colors gloomy or dazzling with a kind of overbright transparency about themSimply Stunning

  3. Cecily Cecily says:

    This is a remarkably good book that I somehow failed to enjoy as much as I wanted or expected but I think the failing is mine rather than Byatt's and reading my notes below I'm puzzled that I liked and admired rather than loved it all too familiar in my relationship with ByattThe thin child in wartime The child is a semi autobiographical version of Byatt herself She is given a book of Norse legends that she treasures Those stories are retold through her eyes and thoughts interspersed with snippets about her own life told in a similar epic mythical Silmarillionish style weaving occasional lines of liturgy and hymns into the prose as myths weave into each other and ourselves It dips in and out of myth but the narrative pull is weak The parallels between the thin child's life and what she reads are clear Ragnarok is the end of the world and WW2 seemed as if it would be too but mostly subtle Layers of myth and fictionalised biographyImage Ragnarök by Collingwood SourceShe is a thoughtful child with a vivid imagination and an analytical uestioning mind comparing the gods of legend with the Christian one she learns about at school and church In the story told in the stone church a grandfatherly figure who resented presumption had spent six delectable days making things She notices that characters come in threes that there are two ways to win battles to be surprisingly strong or to be a gallant forlorn hope and rules in stories exist to be broken She treats all myths including Christianity like fairy stories These offered the pleasure to the mind that the unreal offers when it is briefly real than the visible world can ever be The only thing alive in the church is the English language She has fun with the gods' uirks especially Loki's mischievousness Chaos pleased him He would provoke turbulence to please himself and tried to understand it in order to make of it He was in burning columns of smoke in battlefields He was in the fury of rivers bursting their banks or the waterfalls of high tides throwing themselves over flood defences bringing down ships and housesThe war brings intellectual conflict as well as visceral fears especially for her fighting father She asked herself who were the good and wise Germans who had written 'Asgard and the Gods' and wondered how she could trust The storytelling voice that gripped her imagination and tactfully suggest explanationsByatt the storytellerIf young Byatt really thought as the thin child does it's no wonder she became a storyteller Part of the delight and mystery of this book was that everything was told several times in different orders and in different tones of voice It is told in the present tense a prophetic vision of the future seen as though it was Now The think child became an onlooker in the death of the world It felt different from Christian accounts of the end of things Here the gods themselves were judged and found wanting And to show her erudition as well as her empathy there is an essay about mythology at the back of the bookBeauty withinThe language is is rich vivid and beautiful especially when describing plants animals and water The flung snake fell through the firmament in shifting shapes her mane of fresh fronds streaming back from her sharp skull her fangs glinting but I expect that from Byatt It is bound printed and laid out with a strong eye for aesthetics There are a few lovely pen and ink drawings to add to the images she conjures in the reader's mind Closing thoughtsI can't fault this at any level other than that it disappointed me or perhaps that my reaction disappointed me Perhaps I shouldn't try This is how myths work They are things creatures stories inhabiting the mind They cannot be explained and do not explain; they are neither creeds nor allegoriesByatt and biographyByatt is a novelist who loves the academic approach to biography applied to fiction and semi fiction This passion is reflected in all four of her novels I’ve now read with varying degrees of success Less so in the short stories The Children's Book 4 See my review HERE Possession 3 See my review HERE The Biographer’s Tale 2 See my very old review HERE The Little Black Book Of Stories 4 See my very old review HERE

  4. Riku Sayuj Riku Sayuj says:

    Ragnarok The End of The Gods – A Re vieworRagnarok The Twilight of the ReaderWhile the others in the Cannongate series re imagined the stories Byatt reread it And then told the tale of reading it Underwhelming? To an extent yes But the Norse myths are magnificent enough to come alive of themselves even when the author decides to color them distant Byatt gives her reasoning for this approach in the end saying that she believes myths should not be humanized and the experience of imbibing the story of a myth of how the story permeates the life of how myth shapes an individuals and then a society's internal life is what gives a myth its true meaning She wanted to mythologize this process of how a myth can shape a life And through her Thin Child she might have done this to an extent though she let me down on my expectations of a fun and thrilling adventure in the frigid intimidating and exhilarating strangeness of the Norse landscapes

  5. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    Rating 1 of five p41Airmen were the Wild Hunt They were dangerous If any hunter dismounted he crumbled to dust the child read It was a good story a story with meaning fear and danger were in it and things out of controlI have Byatted for the last time I love the Norse myths and this precious twitzy twee retelling of them through the child's horrible little beady eyes made me want to Dickens up all over the placeI tried I really tried I read some of Possession It was like having an estrogen drip placed directly into my testicles I tried Angels and Insects and horrified and repulsed put it down as in down the crapper down even before I found out it was about brothersister incestI think her writing is ghastly I dislike the stories she tells and I won't be coerced shamed convinced asked begged guilt instilled or reuired to pick up any damn thing else this Woman with a capital W writes in this incarnation

  6. Paul Paul says:

    This is in the Canongate myths series and is a retelling of the Norse myths Byatt tells them pretty straight but puts them in the context of her own childhood Ragnorak is the Norse version of Armageddon Gotterdammerung in Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the retelling is very much as the original Byatt uses her experience of being evacuated to the countryside at the beginning of the war In the book the child is only known as “the thin child” and there is no conversation with anyone else The myth comes through the child’s reading of a rather scholarly book on it The child also reads Pilgrim’s Progress as well Her father is in North Africa and she is convinced he will never return This retelling has a very personal slant and a clear message If you don’t get the point during the retelling of the myth there is a chapter at the end on the nature of myth and the difference between myth and fairy tales Parallels are drawn between what we are doing to our planet and the end of the godsThere is great energy and power in the writing and the prose is rich and luscious; sometimes a bit too much for me It’s a bit like drinking a full bottle of Cointreau trust me don’t ever do that The telling is pretty straight with Odin Loki Frigg Baldur Hel and the rest all doing their stuff Byatt contrasts the battles in the sky and the war with the doings of the gods Yggdrasil is described as an ecosystem a doomed one given the title of the book One of the interesting points is how Byatt reacted to the myths She recognised them as myths and in her mind compared them to the stories she was told in Church which were presented as fact She came to the conclusion that these too were myths and she preferred the Norse myths because they ended with the end of the world with no happy resurrection like saving of the situation For Byatt the myths of the Norse gods are mirrored by what we are doing to our planet“The surface of the earth was like a great embroidered cloth or rich tapestry with an intricately interwoven underside of connected threads”Byatt makes her points clearly“We are a species of animal which is bringing about the end of the world we were born into Not out of evil or malice or not mainly but because of a lop sided mixture of extraordinary cleverness extraordinary greed extraordinary proliferation of our own kind and a biologically built in short sightedness”And of the gods are similar to humanity 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 Ragnorak 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”Difficult to disagree with and it was good to be reminded of the Norse myths I struggled with some of the prose and if the point was to draw parallels with the current state of the planet the way it was presented led to a bit of a disconnect for me

  7. Paltia Paltia says:

    Damn all intrusions and consider yourself fortunate to get lost in this story The thin child at war time has moved to the countryside where she learns to live in the black world of myth As a way to make sense of the events around her she turns to reading Asgard and the gods This fulfill her yearnings as she crosses over into their world and forges fantasy with her reality This book reminded me of being a child first discovering the magic of reading All those otherworldly and enchanted realms were right there All one has to do is find a comfortable spot and open up a book such as this and let your imagination take over This is a truly wonderful reading experience that leaves you with much to think over ASByatt has given us a relevant and elegantly expressed myth for our times Highly recommended

  8. BrokenTune BrokenTune says:

    I really liked it I don’t even know why Ragnarok was really short but it was very much the opposite to Nesbo’s Macbeth which I had read right before this and thus perhaps exactly what I neededI only realised it when I started the book but Byatt wrote the book as part of the Canongate Myths series ie a retelling of a myth – so very much another similarity to Macbeth which was the retelling of a Shakespeare play as part of the Hogarth seriesWhere Macbeth discouraged me from looking deeper into the retelling because it made little sense at the heart of it Ragnarok was a slow burning revelation of subtleties that seemed to end in the discovery that the story was not just about the end of the world that the main character the “thin child” lived through when she sought to escape into Norse mythology It was also the description of another layer of destruction that lurked or rather lurks beyond the short term vision of the stories settingMuch like Ragnarok once things are set in motion it is not known whether they can be stoppedI rather liked this I do realise however that Byatt’s writing – ornate and flowery – is not something I can read a lot of

  9. Terence Terence says:

    Update 81512 A week or so ago I listened to the Audio CD and was impressed again with just how good this book is The reader whose name I've forgotten does an excellent job and I gained a better understanding of what I had read from listening to itUpdate 6612 I found the short story I mentioned in my review below It's from an anthology titled Starlight 3 and called Wolves Till the World Goes Down by Greg Van Eekhout view spoilerIt's told from Hugin's POV Hugin is Thought one of the ravens who are Odin's eyes and ears in the world and recounts how Baldr plans to permanently die and thus break the prophecy of Ragnarök hide spoiler

  10. Teresa Teresa says:

    This book would probably be interesting to those who know nothing or not much of Nordic mythology Since I as Byatt read stories from this mythology as a child I found myself looking for perhaps a retelling or an allegory or of the story of the 'thin child' which is Byatt herself which is exactly what Byatt says in her Thoughts on Myths at the end she didn't want to writeMore than anything else this novella is Byatt's love letter to Asgard and the Gods and shows how reading and rereading it informed her vision of the world And by the very end I decided it was an allegory of all the abundance justifying her sometimes seemingly endless lists of flora fauna etc that populate these pages that was once in the world and is no longer due to the hubris of both gods and men

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Ragnarök The End of the Gods ❮Reading❯ ➿ Ragnarök The End of the Gods Author A.S. Byatt – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk “Brilliantly effective Surely among the most beautiful and incisive pages Byatt has ever written”—Paul Binding The Independent UK“A brilliant highly intelligent fiercely personal rendition of End of eBook ↠ “Brilliantly effective Surely among the most beautiful and incisive pages Byatt has ever written”—Paul Binding The Independent UK“A brilliant highly intelligent fiercely personal rendition of the Scandinavian mythology A gorgeous enrichment and interpretation”—Ursula K Le Guin Literary Review UKThe gods meet their cataclysmic end in this acclaimed work of fiction from the inimitable author of Ragnarök The eBook ´ Possession and The Children’s Book now in paperbackAs the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain one young girl is evacuated to the countryside She is struggling to make sense of her new life whose dark war ravaged days feel very removed from the peace and love being preached in church and at school Then The End of MOBI î she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods—a book of ancient Norse myths—and her inner and outer worlds are transformed She feels an instant kinship with these vivid beautiful terrifying tales of the end of the gods they seem far real far familiar during these precarious daysHow could this child know that fifty years on many of the birds and flowers she took for granted on her walks to school would become extinct War natural disaster reckless gods and the recognition of the world's impermanence are just some of the threads that Byatt weaves into this most timely of books Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant Ragnarok is a landmark piece of storytelling from “one of the most brilliant minds and speakers of our generation” The Independent.