How to cook a human in Old Norse literature

Take a bunch of trolls. Add a haunch of human. Set to rest in a cave. Boil until well cooked. Old Norse myths serve readers with a literary feast of man-eating monsters and some very grisly recipes. We chatted with Rebecca Drake, on the back of her recent Postgraduate English article, about cooking, witty monsters,... Continue Reading →

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Why you need to know about Gudrun, one of the original badass women

You have probably heard of the Old Norse gods Odin, Loki, and Thor, albeit often in ‘Hollywood-ized’ versions. But have you heard of Gudrun, daughter of Gjuki, wife of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer, and badass woman of the seven-hundred-year-old Poetic Edda? Be introduced to her by Katie Harling-Lee. The Poetic Edda, also known as The Elder... Continue Reading →

Crying Wolf

It may sound incredible, but rumours like this served real ends during the Second World War. A fascinating new series from our Political Warfare Executive project is blowing the cover on 'sibs' - stories invented and disseminated by British secret agents with the aim of deceiving the enemy or undermining their morale. In the first... Continue Reading →

The Writer and The Estate Agent

Are we culturally conditioned to assume that when writers hear voices it’s part of their creative process, and when anyone else does it’s a sign of madness? Provocative thoughts from the Writers’ Inner Voices project.

Writers' Inner Voices

Man and woman.jpg

David Napthine writes:-

Writers I’ve talked to about ‘Inner Voices’ have been very generous; willing to disclose their experiences, their understanding of the phenomenon, and how, if at all, it informs their work. They might not have thought much about the questions I have asked, they may even have been irritated by them, but they have not inferred/assumed that I am questioning their sanity.

Yet it is held by many that there is a link between madness and creativity. I’m not entirely convinced though stories abound of writers battling mental ill-health though whether such a condition is a necessary prerequisite to creative endeavour is debatable.

I do think, however, that there is an expectation within our cultural framework (established and nurtured by anecdote, reportage, output, biography, autobiography and by writers themselves) that writers should see and experience things differently because they are creative.

“So you’re a writer?”

“Yes”

“And you…

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