The Myths Series: Background information when reading Ragnarok

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The End of the Gods

by A.S. Byatt

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  • First Published:
    Jan 2012, 192 pages
    Mar 2013, 192 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Myths Series

A. S. Byatt's Ragnarok is the most recent addition to The Myths series, published in the UK by Canongate and around the world by various publishers. Launched in 2005, The Myths series has brought together remarkably talented authors to put their own stamp on ancient myths from around the world, including many that are familiar to Western readers.

"The civilization I live in thinks less and less in terms of raw myth, I think," Byatt writes. "The idea of many other writers in the Canongate series has been to assimilate the myths into the form of novels, or modern stories, retell the tales as though the people had personalities and psychologies." Byatt takes a different approach to her chosen myth: framing a fairly conventional retelling in a modern setting and thereby creating an allegory with contemporary repercussions.

What's remarkable about The Myths series is the exquisite variety with which these noted authors approach their source material. The series includes, among ...

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