A plethora of gods (was Re: [DWJ] Dalemark quartet paper)

Juliette Curtis jcurtis at harvestroad.com
Wed Oct 18 21:26:16 EDT 2006

The Dalemark gods seem to have been trapped by belief rather than created by
it. At the end of CoD, one of the gods explains that they are all Undying
and were trapped into godhead when images were made of them and they were
worshipped by non-Undying. Mallard is careful not to allow an image to be
made of himself because he does not want to become a god.


-----Original Message-----
From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of
Melissa Proffitt
Sent: Thursday, 19 October 2006 9:19 AM
To: Diana Wynne Jones
Subject: A plethora of gods (was Re: [DWJ] Dalemark quartet paper)

On Wed, 18 Oct 2006 15:51:36 -0600, Robyn Starkey wrote:

>I kind of take exception to the premise that polytheism is unusual in 
>Western cultures. I mean, maybe 40 years ago it was. I keep meaning to 
>write a paper comparing the Dalemark books to Small Gods by Terry 
>Pratchett and a couple of other things which escape me at the moment. I 
>think it's far more interesting to look at DWJ's ideas in the context of 
>deity being created by belief, myself.

I've been trying to come up with other fantasies in which deity is created
by belief.  Pratchett, obviously, but Glen Cook's Garrett series has the
same fundamental idea (explored in detail in _Petty Pewter Gods_) and P.C.
Hodgell deals with it in _God Stalk_.  It's been a while since I read the
Dalemark books, but I was thinking of those gods in terms of being *shaped*
by belief rather than created.  Though probably the one implies the other.
Any other data points, anyone?

Melissa Proffitt

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