The Eddic Poem and its place in Fallen Beech

10/05/2015 22:31

The Eddic Poem is an epic work that has its origins in Iceland's Pagan past. Its legends and myths pervaded Northern European society prior to the Christian movement that began in the first three centuries following Jesus Christ's death. In Fallen Beech, the poem plays a central part in that certain characters are modelled upon the Gleipnir poem. In this legend, the wolf Fenrir is subdued by Tyr and by a mysterious net called Gleipnir. In the Tree of Faith, the net of Gleipnir first emerges in a symbolic sense in Whispering Birches whereby the main characters resemble components of the net: Mihael - Mountain, Rafael - Bird, Elena - Fish, Gavriil - Bear, Ruth - Manwoman and Janek - Cat. Together they spin the web that subdues the wolf, being Kristian and Tyr - Lukas Armbrecht. This structure emerged over time and by coincidence in that I knew the book would be structured about a Pagan poem, but when I began Fallen Beech, I had not even heard of the Eddic Poem and had already determined the names Armbrecht (which translates as right arm) and Wolff as Kristian's second name. It therefore came as a surprise to see how well the components fitted, almost as if pre-ordained.

In the legend, the Gleipnir net is constructed of impossible things being the noise a cat makes when it moves, the neard of woman, the roots of mountain, sinews of a bear, breath of fish and spittle of bird. Spun together they create a net that subdues the primitive side of Fenrir the wolf. However, Fenrir is suspicious of the Gods and demands that Tyr place his arm in his jaw. Once captured, Fenrir bites off Tyr's arm. We hear how Lukas is one-armed and Kristian's behavior is like that of a wolf, particularly in the beginning and it is Kristian that has his wild side subdued in the camp through the workings of the characters mentioned above. In this way, Eddic Poem is a central theme and dominates the book Fallen Beech where we see the Pagan side of the SS through Lukas's post-war Teutonic group and through Matthew Dixon's obsession with ancient Pagan sites and the links of Christianity and Paganism. As a parallel we are also introduced to an essentially Pagan religion of the far east in the scenes of Shanghai and Hong Kong.