When the Bough Breaks

  title={When the Bough Breaks},
  author={Jonathan Smith},
  journal={History of Religions},
  pages={342 - 371}
One of the most famous modern deathbed scenes is that reported of Gertrude Stein when she raised herself up from her bed and asked her faithful companion, Alice B. Toklas, "What is the answer?" When Toklas responded, "There is no answer," Stein sank back and murmured, "Then there is no question!" There is a compelling logic to this exchange. We have become accustomed, as scholars, to perceiving the degree to which the questions we ask predetermine our answers. But Stein has raised another sort… 
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      King God and Sacrifice in Old Norse Religion
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