From Asgard to Valhalla: The Remarkable History of the Norse MythsPaperback
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- Publisher: I.B.Tauris
- Format: Paperback | 232 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 232mm x 18mm | 340g
- Publication date: 6 January 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1845118294
- ISBN 13: 9781845118297
- Sales rank: 136,840
This title tells from deep within Odin's cavernous halls: the stories of the Viking Gods.From Viking-age stories of ice and fire to the epic poetry of "Beowulf", from the warrior Valkyries to Tolkien's "Riders of Rohan" and from Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" to Marvel's "Mighty Thor", Norse mythology arguably offers something for everyone. "From Asgard to Valhalla" is unique in showing how these myths have impacted on and continue powerfully to resonate across the fields of literature, art, music and politics. In her sparkling new book, Heather O'Donoghue ranges from the high culture of "The Poetic Edda" and the Romantic sublime to popular manifestations of Norse mythology, such as the fantasy novels of Neil Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones. Distinguishing the myths in their original form from a host of later accretions, the book tells the gripping story of how such strange and fragmentary material was seized and remodelled throughout the centuries: whether by the volkisch fantasies of the Third Reich or the modern-day cult appeal of Viking Metal.
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Heather O'Donoghue is Reader in Old Norse in the University of Oxford and a Professorial Fellow of Linacre College. Her books include The Genesis of a Saga Narrative (1991), Old Norse Icelandic Literature: A Short Introduction (2004) and Skaldic Verse and the Poetics of a Saga Narrative (2005).
"'O'Donoghue writes fascinatingly about the perpetuity of the myths' - Peter Conrad, Observer 'Gods are not human, and a myth is a myth - full of riddles, apprehension and spare meaning - or it is nothing. O'Donoghue's book helps us to understand this problem' - A.S. Byatt, Times 'An excellent and rounded book that feels like an essential to anybody interested in Norse myth' - Amazon.co.uk"