In college, I was the president (for life) of the Valhalla Norwegian Society. Impressive in name, but in truth it was an organization created by one of my roommates and I for the purpose of watching Viking movies and applying for university funds to throw parties. Still, the organization was officially recognized by my university and we had a mailbox in the student government building, so it was really real.
Anyway, back to the book. If I liked Norse mythology then, I’ve fallen in love as I’ve continued to learn more about it. But this post isn’t about my fake student organization or even my growing love of Norse mythology. This post is about a tidbit that I picked up in the back of Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green.
The following is taken from the Author File at the end of the book:
In the course of his life Roger was a professional actor, librarian and teacher. He was also a member of the Inklings Club in Oxford, a group of friends who read and commented on, each other’s work. Its members included C. S. Lewis (author of The Chronicles of Narnia) and J. R. R. Tolkien (author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings).
If it hadn’t been for Roger, The Chronicles of Narnia might never have been published. In 1949 Roger went to dinner with C. S. Lewis, who read to him two chapters of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He also informed Roger that he’d read them to Tolkien a few weeks before, and Tolkien had told him that he didn’t think they were very good. Roger disagreed. He though they were great, and he encouraged Lewis to get them published. Roger even thought of the series title, The Chronicles of Narnia, and he went on to become the very first reader of all of the other Narnia stories.
I’m so glad that I belong to a writer’s group (The Weaklings) and that I can get feedback like Tolkien gave when my stuff needs work, as well as encouragement like Lancelyn Green gave when my stuff needs a shove toward publication. Unless both of those voices are there for a writer, some of the world’s best literature may go unpublished.
So what should you take away from this post? Seek out a group of peers for feedback and encouragement. Also, pick up a book on Norse mythology, since it is the best there is. Seriously, I don’t know why I wasted any time on Greek mythology back in the high school. Odin rules!