Ex Libris Kirkland

Ex Libris Kirkland is my self-centered way to keep track of what I read, what I like, and what I want to remember.


Recently Quoted

  • [Loki] is tolerated by the gods, perhaps because his stratagems and plans save them as often as they get them into trouble. Loki makes the world more interesting but less safe. He is the father of monsters, the author of woes, the sly god.

    an excerpt from Norse Mythology, written by Neil Gaiman in 2017

  • “In their huge bedroom that night, Tyr said to Thor, "I hope you know what you are doing."

    "Of course I do," said Thor. But he didn't. He was just doing whatever he felt like doing. That was what Thor did best.”

    an excerpt from Norse Mythology, written by Neil Gaiman in 2017

  • “Cease your weeping!" he said. "It is I, Loki, here to rescue you!"
    Idunn glared at him with red-rimmed eyes. "It is you who are the source of my troubles." she said.
    "Well, perhaps. But that was so long ago. That was yesterday's Loki. Today's Loki is here to save you and take you home.”

    an excerpt from Norse Mythology, written by Neil Gaiman in 2017

Recently Noted

  • These are Gaiman-style retellings of the Prose Edda, and fairly straight on from the source material. They're modernized, of course, and they've got the well-crafted rhythm and pacing that you expect from NG. After just reading thru Snorri's version, there's not much new here. But if you don't have patience or stomach for Snorri's version, this is a great telling. I expect it will become the go-to version of these Norse myths.

    I'd also just finished reading Nancy Marie Brown's Song of the Vikings, and she opens each chapter with a retelling from Snorri, and they are tonally very similar to Gaiman. If I was her, I'd be mad.

    an note about Norse Mythology, written by Neil Gaiman in 2017

  • These are the canonical set of Norse myths, the oldest writing and most definitive set. They were written by Snorri Sturlason, who was writing them down a few hundreds of years after the Xianization of Iceland & the nordic countries.

    See Nancy Marie Brown's The Song of the Vikings for a great writeup of Snorri's life, and short retellings of the most compelling stories).

    They're written within a wrapper narrative, where king Gylfi / aka Gangleri has a quiz with High, Just-As-High, and Third - serving as narrative ligaments to string together disparate facts and stories. I presume it also served as a prophylactic distancing mechanism so the powerful catholic bishops and priests didn't throw a fit about these pagan stories.

    an note about The Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturlason in 1241

  • You know how they say sci-fi books are always about the time they were actually written? I have never read a book so obviously about the United States.

    Maybe this is true about all ethnography. It's certainly true about all travel writing, right?

    an note about Putin Country, written by Anne Garrels in 2016

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Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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