Katie Folkman ’04 Merges Tradition and Myth in Tales

Norse Mythology was the topic of discussion during the Abbot Scholar presentation of Katherine Folkman ’04 on Monday. She amazed the audience with her own take on Surner’s Mouth, a story about a brother’s quest to find his twin sister. He encounters a host of supernatural creatures— such as giants and elves— along the way. “I knew I wanted to take a Norse myth and write it in my own words,” said Folkman. She read the first five pages of her paper, captivating the audience with, in the words of fellow Abbot Scholar Susannah Gund ’04, a “beautiful and quite accessible story.” Folkman’s story revolved around a love connection between two main characters Gerda and Frey (the goddess of winter and the god of sun respectively.) Citing the Greek and Roman mythology classes she took in the fourth grade as her motivation, Katie said that she wants to expose younger audiences to Norse myths. “I think the concept is really brilliant and I want to ask my ninth graders to do on a smaller scale what you have done,” a member of the audience and ninth grade teacher added. Faulkner also said that the popular Lord of the Rings trilogy was taken from sources in Norse mythology. Entering Brace Center with little or no knowledge of Norse mythology, it would be difficult to find an attendee of Faulkner’s presentation leaving the Brace center still ignorant of these fascinating tales that originated in Norway over eight centuries ago. Faulkner’s story was eloquent yet factual, the audience learned quite a bit about Norse mythology through only five pages of story. One interesting fact that Folkman added during her presentation was that Norse mythology was largely recorded by Christians. Faulkner took the time at the end of her presentation to thank Mrs. Penner in the library, her advisors: Mr. Bardo and Mr. O’Conner, and all the other abbot scholars. This was Faulkner’s first time writing fiction, and when asked if she is considering publishing, she said, “I don’t know.” Upon completion, Faulkner’s myth will be up to 50 pages. Faulkner will leave Andover to attend the University of Georgia next fall.