Robin McKinley – Spindle’s End (2000)

Rosie could feel him thinking, but he was silent for long enough that she had the opportunity to notice that he was the only one of all of them who was not blundering over his own feet. She felt him notice her noticing—there was a certain sense of “at last” about it—and then he said: The things that aren’t there are not there in different ways. Some of them are almost there and some of them are nearly not-there.

Narl said slowly, “Yes. This seems to be a—neither here nor there sort of place. And the things here are neither here nor there either.”

“Only they don’t seem to—upset Flinx’s sense of balance,” said Rosie.

“Perhaps cats are neither here nor there all the time,” said Narl, and Flinx, picking up the gist of this through Rosie, gave Narl a thoughtful look before returning to his tail.


Robin McKinley – Spindle’s End (2000)

…But the wing had not healed as it should, and so it was given the vaulted height of the Great Hall to live in, where no one dared trouble it, and it was fed by a falconer with a very long pole.

The merrel also knew its wing had not healed. But I could reach a great height once more before it failed me, it said. And from there I would fold my wings and plummet to the earth as if a hare or a fawn had caught my eye; but it would be myself I stooped toward. It would be a good flight and a good death. And so I eat their dead things cut up on a pole, dreaming of my last flight.


unknown; Snorri Sturluson: The Elder Eddas…; and the Younger Eddas…

ca 13th century

“an unnamed collection of Old Norse poems,… consist[ing] primarily of text from the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript known as the Codex Regius … arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.” – wikipedia on the Elder Eddas

My copy (from Project Gutenberg) contains only the second section of the Prose Edda, the “deluding of Gylfi” – “Gylfaginning deals with the creation and destruction of the world of the Nordic gods, and many other aspects of Norse mythology.” – wikipedia on the Prose Eddas

(see @ gutenberg)
Folklore, Poetry

Milton, John: Paradise Lost


There are only so many places you can read or see or hear allusions to a classic work before you’ve got to read it for yourself, to grok the references. Frankenstein’s creature’s pitiful comparisons of himself to Milton’s Adam and Satan were the straw here. I’m glad I’ve already read Dante’s Commedia and some of the Greek and Roman epics; this would send me down those rabbit holes, too.

(see @ goodreads)

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm: Grimm’s Fairy Tales

translator: anonymous

“When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm set out to collect stories in the early 1800s, their goal was not to entertain children but to preserve Germanic folklore—and the hard life of European peasants was reflected in the tales they discovered.”

(see @ goodreads)
Fantasy, Fiction, Folklore

Gaiman, Neil: The Sandman


A graphic novel series about Dream, a.k.a. Morpheus, a.k.a. the Sandman. Or it’s about stories. Or reality. Or are those so different? If, like me, you love a good myth or fairy tale – the true ones, delirious and awful and mystifying and real, not the bubbly Disney sort – you want to read Gaiman’s work.

(see @ wikipedia)
Fiction, Folklore

Gaiman, Neil: Norse Mythology


“Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.”

(see @ goodreads)

Andersen, Hans Christian: Fairy Tales

translator: Marte Hvam Hult

A collection of Andersen’s classic fairy tales (“The Little Mermaid,” “The Ugly Duckling,” etc.), which were originally published between 1835 and 1872.

(see @ wikipedia)