Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Tom Birkett
St Cross Talks
Stories for our Times: Retelling the Norse Myths
St Cross College, Oxford
Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures
Optional Fields
The Norse Myths, published by Quercus in 2018, is the latest in a long line of retellings of the myths and legends of medieval Scandinavia; tales that, as the publisher’s blurb rightly points out, ‘have captured the imagination of storytellers and artists for centuries’. Reworking the Norse myths for a commercial press offered an opportunity to reflect on both the longstanding creative appeal of the myths and also the extraordinary resurgence of interest in recent years: what exactly is it about the Vikings and the stories of the Norse gods that resonates with our current cultural climate? This talk will draw out some of the points of connection, and fracture, that a popular retelling rests upon, and suggest some of the ways that a reworking of traditional material can be used to speak to contemporary concerns – including environmental change, gender politics, and the resurgence of the far-right – whilst also seeking to remain faithful to the medieval sources and to the contradictions and plurality of the myths that have come down to us.
St Cross College, Oxford