For a long time I’ve been kind of stumped by the Hyndluliod. Most interpretations of it read it as a very hostile encounter between Freyja and Hyndla and yet, when you read it, it’s hard to understand why Hyndla gives up the information Freyja needs so freely if this is indeed a hostile encounter. Every other encounter with the Jutons is settled through outwitting them or defeating them physically. It’s really unclear, though, how Freyja “wins” this, what she’s done that constitutes a defeat of Hyndla.
Hyndluliod. Larrington translates that word as “The Song of Hyndla,” but I’ve been thinking that if we called it “The Bitch’s Ditty,” you’d get a much better sense of what’s going on–the possible levity of it. Maybe it’s that same way we tease each other about boys now.
Freyja says, “Hyndla, my sister, let’s go see Odin and get some cool stuff.”
Hyndla says, “You’re so full of shit. You don’t want me to go see Odin. You want me to help you spoil that little stud of yours.”
Freyja says, “What? No I don’t. Okay, I do. Help.”
Hyndla: “Oh, I don’t think I could help him any more than you already do. You’re like a goat in heat.”
Freyja: “Shut up!”
Hyndla: “Well, I could do just like you and get him drunk and ride him around just for the fun of it. Yeehaw!”
Freyja: “Shut up! Okay, that was funny.”
Compare to this:
Me: “We’re not talking about boys or about strategic behavior to get boys because today I’m going to be happy and thinking about boys does not make me happy. It makes me sad and confused.”
The Professor: “Okay, fine, but you brought it up. Code? You can get help with code? I would just have to have someone come over and do it all.”
Me: “I need to know where to stick some code and since he’s the one who told me I needed it, he’s the one who can tell me where to put it, I figure. He’s smart like that.”
The Professor: “I don’t know how I am and am not allowed to respond… have him come over and stick it in. Sorry, but really, you should… damn, I just can’t help myself.”
Me: “That was so funny I drooled on myself just a little bit.”
See, this is how we are when we talk about y’all. Shoot, if we could turn you into a handsome golden boar, or a sports-question-answering-trivia hottie, we’d totally let you come along so we can scrutinize you while we’re discussing you.
It’s this lighthearted silly banter, with its familiar rhythms and great room for improvisation, that tickles me most about hanging out with the Sisters and the Professor. And the concrete realization that these are ancient ways women play with each other tickles me even more.