Craig's Reviews > Ragnarok

Ragnarok by A.S. Byatt
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Sep 14, 11


A.S. Byatt remembering her childhood in WW II Britain combined with her love of the Norse myths. A very short, captivating book. She ties the concept of Ragnarok to environmentalism. "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. Homo homini lupus est, wrote Hobbes, man is a wolf to man, describing the wolf inside, Hobbes who had a grim vision of the life of men as solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. Loki is the only one who is clever and Loki is irresponsible and wayward and mocking."
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