Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest Post with A G Bellamy

Mythology Will Never Leave Us!

I’m sitting here in my pyjamas at a quarter to eight in the evening typing this out, unsure of what I should talk about. Thing is, in the morning I’m leaving for Cambridge to study History so you can imagine how distracted I am. It took me five years to write The Nightmare Man, and that started out as a series of short stories which are now locked in a box beneath my bed. I’m eighteen now, and a published author... I guess that’s something I should talk about, but I want to write something about mythology. Trouble is I don’t know what to say.

Perhaps I should start with what mythology actually is: the beliefs of a culture or people once considered true but now considered fables or entertainment.
That is to say that the Vikings actually believed in the Norse gods and goddesses and the tales they told about them which today we study to better understand the culture. There are still people alive today who regard what it written in the Sagas and the Eddas as truth. I read the myths for the sheer beauty and epic imagery of what they basically are; stories, histories and embellishments of conquests. The Vikings loved their poetry, much to the surprise of most scholars and the public. It’s an unwritten fact that a religion will have between 2-5000 years before its teachings and writings become ‘mythology’. Yes, that means that religions we know and worship today such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism may well be studied academically by future generations as myths! It’s interesting to think about, even if you don’t agree with it...

There are three main principles all religions/mythologies talk about: creation, development and the end of the world. In Norse mythology, humans were created by the Three Chieftain Aesir Odin, Villi and Ve and the world was created as a gigantic garden which would develop into the final battleground for a battle known as ‘Ragnarök’... that’s the gist of it, anyway. The Nightmare Man is the first in a series which will show how the characters and the world develop for this final battle. I promise that I won’t chicken out like Stephenie Meyer (yes, even the anti-Twilight brigades hate her for this) since I have already written the battle!

When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend called Richard. He used to tell me stories, and as I grew up I learned that these stories had similarities with the Norse myths, and this sparked my interest in Norse mythology. It was the Battle of Ragnarök that interested me the most, and this is what inspired me to start work on the short stories that would eventually begin The Noble Angels. I started The Nightmare Man with the Norse creation myth because this is the beginning of something which I hope will become really big like The Hunger Games, or even just big enough to attract the attention of a movie director (yeah... I already have some plans for the event that my books become films).

Anyway, the title of this post is ‘Mythology Will Never Leave Us’ so I guess I’d better draw some parallels between the mythology I used and what I’m talking about. Maybe it’s best if I use Richard; his stories used mythology, and I used those stories to write a book which entails Norse mythology. If you look around, you can see the mythology everywhere. Architecture, novels, poetry, music, politics, religion, drama/theatre and even in the way we think, speak and move. Mythology is a fantastic thing- you just need to know where to look.

AG Bellamy, xx

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