Pure Northernness

In his autobiography C.S. Lewis relates how as a teenager he saw an illustration by Arthur Rackham for Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and was overcome by a sensation he described as ‘pure “Northernness”’.

Many writers have shared his vision of the far North as a transforming, otherworldly landscape that supplies an appropriately dramatic setting for the deeds of heroes, whether they appear in Norse mythology in tales of Asgard and the gods, or in the ice-bound settings of Lewis’s Narnia and Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights.

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