Quote of the Day: Bulfinch on the Norse Myths

Thomas Bulfinch on "Norse Literature," from the revised and expanded edition of The Age of Fable:

The introduction of Christianity into the North brought with it the influence of the classical races, and this eventually supplanted the native genius, so that the alien mythology of the literature of Greece and Rome have formed an increasing part of the mental equipment of the northern peoples in proportion as the native literature and tradition have been neglected.

Undoubtedly Northern mythology has exercised a deep influence on our customs, laws and language, and there has been, therefore, a great unconscious imspiration flowing from these into English literature.  The most distinctive traits of this mythology are a peculiar grim humour, to be found in the religion of no other race, and a dark thread of tragedy which runs througout the whole woof, and these characteristics, touching both extremes, are writ large over English literature.

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