Wyrd


Wyrd.

This essay will discuss the novel wryd. It will explore some of the concepts
that are found in the novel and attempt to extend the issues to a point at
which they become more clear, and prove the assertion that, just as Wyrd is
a fast moving narrative that spans continents and ages, it is a novel of
ideas.

Wyrd was, in length, a short to medium novel that was written by Sue Gough.
Briefly, it was the story of Berengaria, Saladin\'s daughter and wife of King
Richard. After her husbands death, she was moved to a French nunnery with
her handmaiden and son, the prince (incognito). There she kept an explicit
and wise diary, recording the events in her life. She founded a healing
order, and invented a cordial that was surprisingly popular among the
village folk. She continued to practice Viking religion in subtle ways, and
encouraged spiritual openness, as opposed to the dogmatic teachings of the
time, vesting confidence and a sense of worth in her fellow devotees.
However, she was plagued by her evil anti-thesis, the Abbe De Ville, who
encouraged her son to join in a \'children\'s crusade\' -- and unwise and
dangerous religious march. Pat, her son, was eventually sold as a slave in
the middle east, but the Abbe did not know this and told Berengaria the
\'news\' of his demise. Unable to cope with such a revelation, she died and
was entombed, as a mummy, with her book beneath the priory. Found by two
archaeologists in modern times, her book was recovered and her tomb
destroyed. Sent to a group of Australian women (in order to keep it out of
the claws of the modern De Ville, Professor Horniman), the book found it\'s
way into the hands and heart of Trace, a street kid from Sydney, come north
as part of a modern children\'s crusade. Unwilling to return to the slums of
Kings Cross, Trace had found her way to the women\'s homes and beguiled herse-
lf of them. To conclude the story, Professor Horniman attempted to steal the
book, and it was destroyed. All of this was spoken by one Dr Renouf (a
possible future Trace and modern day Berengaria), in an attempt to draw
together the warring factions of the middle east.

One of the most primary themes in the book, apparent even in the summary, is
the repetition of events: recurrence and echoing of past events and people.
The binding threads of time, so to speak, are constant and absolute: even in
different times, the same forces are still at work throughout the novel. The c
change of setting is incidental, and the characters are a constant equalling
force. The children\'s crusade, the concepts of war and peace, good and evil
are all tied together in the plot, past mirroring future. However, another
theme that is important is the power of the undecided (* - wyrd, the blank
Viking rune, is the rune of \'maybe\'), and the outcomes are different --
Professor Horniman was defeated, De Ville was not. Although this only lead
to Horniman\'s defeat, it was substantial, and the cosmic superbeing could
have turned to favour the powers of \'good\' (Berengaria, Trace, the wyrd
sisters/the three women) or \'evil\' (De Ville/Horniman, war, etc). The future
is merely a continuation of the past, but events may be replayed. Change
only occurred with respect for the future, the past remained stained, but
was a valuable lesson. The repetition of events occurred mainly because
lessons of the past were unheeded, and present changes are the force behind
the it\'s cessation. The blank rune, the undecided future, the last, blank
page in the old Queen\'s diary, are all a means by which these events can
occur: change and exploration of possibilities is vital to allow
continuation. Who controls the past controls the future only in that the
past is part of the present and the present is what controls future events.

Another theme, discussed mainly in the book\'s feminist undertones, is one
that is heavily discursive of the rules of society. Religious dogma, meaningl
ess legal writings, unwritten rules placing different people in situations
beyond their control, and the concept of elitism -- our class system, are
all discussed, if briefly, in the texts. Non conformity was all