Wyrd - Analysis of the Novel

This essay will discuss the novel Wyrd. 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 length 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 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, meaningless 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 but preached: it clearly stated that the rules of
society, the laws we make for ourselves, are not compatible with the
needs of the people. Religious laws were obeyed to the letter in the
main time frame and our own, to a lesser extent because times have
changed: Berengaria was a nun, and De