Edda, Beowulf and the like
Why, I don't know. But I have a feeling why. Medieval sagas, mythical history,
it's all about seraching for a romantic escape to one's 'roots'..?
Disclaimer: the text here does not pretend to be based on any form of scientific research
but rather represents my personal musing on the subject.
Which nevertheless should require serious arguments to counter.
Well then, what are the issues at stake?
- My impression is that the said sagas are often taken to represent pseudo-religious ramblings of not too well thinking half rogue men, whereas I take them to
be allegories that represent deeper insights into the
meaning of life
Those who believe, for example, that dragons etc. were once believed to be real
historical animals, have maybe exactly the simpleness of mind that they attribute
to the peoples that knew the sagas. Isn't the dragon the representation of evil? Truly the dragon that
has come to a land that deserved it for decadence, is slain by the hero of impeccable moral stature. Take Grendel as
exemplary for that, and the mother of Grendel as the primal titanic source of the evil apparent.
Further explanation of details will expound this similarity that is too fitting and holds too detaildly
The fighting of the dragon that guards a treasure (and are there treasures that aren't?) likewise represents the
purgatory that a hero has to go through before having access to the treasure — the specific value of
which seldomly goes into the hero's savings account but is allegorical too, for the wisdom and integrity found
after cleansing of ill traits. Note that the dragon cannot be slain by straightforward attack, but can be by attacking
the soft belly... by which it is fed and prospers. Very, very much the same as the evil of fundamentalism (rightwing of leftwing,
be that religious or not), decadence, unjust power seeking and overly harsh warlords have to be attacked; not by addressing rational defense mechanisms like arguments but by
undoing the primal fears and forces at the core.
- A different note altogether (is it?): We're writing/talking of peoples that already had quite some culture
and scientific and societal understanding (as we see that...); they're as many centuries from the Romans and Kelts
as we are from them. For centuries, Christianity had been around in monastries, etc., the great cathedrals were built,
European empires were normal business with administrative and tax systems coming of age. Would one think
that such people would still dwell in myths and sagas as if these represented scientific history? Admittedly sagas
belong to Nordic peoples that had far less been christened, but on the other hand these peoples had their own
Even Huizinga hardly acknowledges this incongruity, but then he only limitedly focuses on
high court culture.
- And Nietzsche would have liked
the mentality of valour and raw natural strength — of mind: Jenseits von Gut und Böse —, hence natural leaders approaching the Übermenschen ideal,
still happily far off of the foul despicable Christian untermenschen meekness. So do I.
- More will follow, as it comes to my mind.