End of ADS-L Digest - 27 Mar 1994 to 28 Mar 1994 ************************************************ There are 9 messages totalling 148 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. Clinton's speech 2. Wisconsin accent (6) 3. reporter 4. SWINE ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 29 Mar 1994 08:32:21 EST From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: Clinton's speech THE DEVIL'S IN THE DETAILS Tell this to your reporter: Clinton's aphoristic description of the trouble involved in working out the details of a massive public policy is a clever allusion to medieval rewordings of ancient Germanic sayings about Loki and his other Teutonic analogues. In the account of the Ragnarokr in the *Voluspa*, a wolf comes to eat the moon, a wolf that appears when Loki, the monsters, and the giants come to destroy Asgard. According to Jacob Grimm (*Teutonic Mythology*, trans. J. S. Stallybrass [London: W. Swan Sonnenschein & Allen, 1980], 244-46), Loki's name was replaced with that of the devil in sayings about the chaos at the end of the world, with the result that nineteenth-century Germans still said "the devil is broken loose" as the medieval Norse said "Loki er or bo"ndum" or as Detmar said in his chronik 1, 298 "do was de duvel los geworden." Although the Aesir fall to the monsters in the Ragnarokr, the *Voluspa* does predict a new world of grace and harmony. Clinton, playing perhaps too heavily on his world-class education, is cleverly implying that despite the fall of the world order--or present policy--as we know it, a new world--a new policy--will arise from which the devil (Loki, Saturn, Rush Limbaugh) has been removed or at least returned to his chains. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wayne Glowka Professor of English Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]mail.gac.peachnet.edu