Quotes from Ragnarok

A.S. Byatt ·  177 pages

Rating: (3.8K votes)


“He was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons. You could see a bare tree on the skyline bent by the wind, holding up twisted branches and bent twigs, and suddenly its formless form would resolve itself into that of the trickster.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“The reading eye must do the work to make them live, and so it did, again and again, never the same life twice, as the artist had intended.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“[Loki] was beautiful, that was always affirmed, but his beauty was hard to fix or to see, for he was always glimmering, flickering, melting, mixing, he was the shape of a shapeless flame, he was the eddying thread of needle-shapes in the shapeless mass of the waterfall. He was the invisible wind that hurried the clouds in billows and ribbons...He was amused and dangerous, neither good nor evil. Thor was the classroom bully raised to the scale of growling thunder and whipping rain. Odin was Power, was in power. Ungraspable Loki flamed amazement and pleased himself.
The gods needed him because he was clever, because he solved problems. When they needed to break bargains they rashly made, mostly with giants, Loki showed them the way out. He was the god of endings. He provided resolutions for stories -- if he chose to. The endings he made often led to more problems.
There are no altars to Loki, no standing stones, he had no cult. In myths he was always the third of the trio, Odin, Hodur, Loki. In myths, the most important comes first of three. But in fairy tales, and folklore, where these three gods also play their parts, the rule of three is different; the important player is the third, the *youngest* son, Loki.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“She was a thin, sickly, bony child, like an eft, with fine hair like sunlit smoke.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“She was a thinking child, and worked this out. It hurt her, unlike most knowledge, which was strength and pleasure.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok



“She grew up in the ordinary paradise of the English countryside. When she was five she walked to school, two miles, across meadows covered with cowslips, buttercups, daisies, vetch, rimmed by hedges full of blossom and then berries, blackthorn, hawthorn, dog-roses, the odd ash tree with its sooty buds.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“But if you write a version of Ragnarok in the twenty-first century, it is haunted by the imagining of a different end of things. We are a species of animal which is bringing about the end of the world we were born into. Not out of evil or malice, or not mainly, but because of a lopsided mixture of extraordinary cleverness, extraordinary greed, extraordinary proliferation of our own kind, and a biologically built-in short-sightedness.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“The black thing in her brain and the dark water on the page were the same thing, a form of knowledge. This is how myths work. They are things, creatures, stories, inhabiting the mind. They cannot be explained and do not explain; they are neither creeds nor allegories. The black was now in the thin child’s head and was part of the way she took in every new thing she encountered.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“Therefore,' said Loki the mockery, to the snake his daughter, 'we need to know everything, or at least as much as we can. The gods have secret runes to help in the hunt, or give victory in battle. They hammer, they slash. They do not study. I study. I know.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok


“Ze probeerde zich zondig te voelen. Maar haar geest wendde zich af, naar waar hij levend was.”
― A.S. Byatt, quote from Ragnarok



About the author

A.S. Byatt
Born place: in Sheffield, Yorkshire, The United Kingdom
Born date August 24, 1936
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