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Ragnarok The End of the Gods (Hardcover)

Author:  A. S. Byatt
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Product Details:

Format: Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0802129927
ISBN-13: 9780802129925
Sku: 223040521
Publish Date: 2/7/2012
Pages:  177
 
Booker Prize winner Dame Antonia Byatt breathes life into the Ragnorak myth, the story of the end of the gods in Norse mythology.
"Ragnarok" retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so AS Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory. As 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 wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed.
War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that AS Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark.
From the Publisher:
The author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession presents a dramatic retelling of the Norse myth about the end of the world that follows the Blitz-era evacuation of a young girl whose worldview is dramatically changed upon reading Asgard and the Gods and who witnesses the destruction of the natural world half a century later.
Annotation:
The Norse myth of RAGNAROK tells of the death of the gods and the destruction of the world. In this volume A.S. Byatt retells the tale, setting it against the backdrop of World War II. Her version opens with a young girl (based, as she explains in an afterword, on herself as a child) being given a book of Norse myths as a gift. With war raging and her father stationed as an airman in South Africa, she tries to glean from the book some understanding of the chaos engulfing her own world. Part of Canongate's Myth Series--which has included volumes by several well-regarded contemporary writers--RAGNAROK may introduce Byatt to an entirely new audience.The Norse myth of RAGNAROK tells of the death of the gods and the destruction of the world. In this volume A.S. Byatt retells the tale, setting it against the backdrop of World War II. Her version opens with a young girl (based, as she explains in an afterword, on herself as a child) being given a book of Norse myths as a gift. With war raging and her father stationed as an airman in South Africa, she tries to glean from the book some understanding of the chaos engulfing her own world. Part of Canongate's Myth Series--which has included volumes by several well-regarded contemporary writers--RAGNAROK may introduce Byatt to an entirely new audience.
Author Bio
A. S. Byatt
Antonia Susan Byatt was born in Sheffield, a Yorkshire steel town, where she led what she describes as an isolated childhood and adolescence despite the presence of three siblings. Her mother was educated at Cambridge but gave up teaching to raise her family--a choice she was bitter about. Her attitude strongly affected Antonia, who also went to Cambridge. She also married young and had four children; she has been married twice, and her only son was killed by a drunk driver in 1970. She maintains residences in London and in the south of France. Her present husband, Peter Duffy, is an investment analyst. Her sister is the novelist Margaret Drabble; a natural rivalry between the two of them passed with the years. Known as a "Victorian postmodernist," Byatt writes meaty, erudite, old-fashioned novels; ANGELS AND INSECTS was made into a film in 1995.

Praise

"What [Byatt] has made in this case--thanks to a rare fusion of imagination and intellect, sensual poetry and cerebral prose, youthful joy and elderly wisdom--is an entire world, compressed but energetically alive in all its details. When we have artists like this, who needs gods?" - Peter Conrad 09/03/2011

"While the narrative illuminates the essence and meaning of myth, particularly as it shapes a young girl's wartime experience, it also serves as an environmentalist parable, one where we are 'bringing about the end of the world we were born into.' Though the cadences are like those of a fairy tale, a narrative seen through the eyes of a child, the chilling conclusion is not." 12/15/2011

Product Attributes
Product attributeeBooks:   Kobo
Product attributeBook Format:   Hardcover
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0177
Product attributePublisher:   Canongate Books
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