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Monday, May 21, 2018

Balder The Beautiful: A Song Of Divine Death - Robert Williams Buchanan

In this poetical written work, Buchanan retells the story of Baldur the Beautiful, whose death foretells the beginning of the end to the Norse Gods, with his own personal ideas to expand on what is originally a short piece. In 9 (IX) "Books" he tells the story of Baldur's birth, the protection bestowed upon him by Fre(y)a, the circumstances leading to his death, the Twilight of the Gods, and his return to bless the land. Between these chapters Buchanan adds his own emotionally charged ideas of Baldur's journey into the afterlife, his search to speak with the personification of death, and his struggle of his short life, and even an encounter with the parallel figure of sacrifice: Jesus.

This work was sometimes difficult for me to read due to the style, but it was such a wonderful read. I felt myself rage and lament along with Baldur as he made his way through his confusing life and afterlife. While some may be turned off by his inclusion of the figure of Jesus, I found their dialogue insightful. For those who would like an
emotionally charged retelling of this story from the Edda, I highly recommend this piece.

Source Material:
Prose Edda - translated by Jesse L. Byock

Additional Reading:
Balder the Beautiful - James George Frazer
Baldur the Beautiful - Grace Denio Litchfield

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