from time to time i plan to blog about books i own, or books i love (which is generally an interchangeable category).

a while ago i bought this book, troll:

i bought it both for the illustrations (some of which are sprinkled below) and for the preface's description of what a troll is. specifically, norwegian trolls. excerpted:

... here the modern world seems strangely unreal and irrelevant. Face to face with Nature's ceaseless rhythm modern man, who measures his restless life in terms of hours and minutes, seems singularly ineffective... [] A beardy old giant crashes to the ground, overwhelmed by the burden of years; he lies there among the young shoots, from which new trees will grow...[]

The troll is dark and ponderous and covered with a tangle of foliage, like a piece of the woods and mountains brought to life.

Everyone who has ever seen a troll - and there must be many, since the image of the troll has been firmly fixed in the imagination of the people - are agreed that all trolls are very old. A troll is born of the timeless forest; he is moss-covered as an old stone. When one troll calls to another it takes a hundred years before he gets an answer. You can hear his voice in the storm, and glimpse the outlines of him in the mist, as he crashes his way through the undergrowth when the brook is spate in spring. Or you can see his gargantuan footprints in the snow in winter.

He symbolizes the fear of natural phenomenon, the terror of the woods, the horror of the dark that has always lurked in men's minds... [] In the fairy tales the troll is not always represented as a monster; he is not only a source of terror. The terror has often been overcome, and exorcised fear will in a twinkle give way to mirth and laughter.

i love a good subtext and i think in particular, trolls have this great relevancy and appeal... we have our modern-day trolls (i've even been trolled myself), and it ties in to folk art, which so many contemporary artists are reaching towards in their work. the basic premises here of life existing in the shadows, of old life giving way to the new, of exorcised fears becoming a source of strength, these are all themes i love.

below is a troll i collaged a month or so after buying this book... i'd like to make some more trolls, in a more narrative context.