Definition of a troll

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Dr von Haller: ” […] What is a troll?”

Myself: “A kind of Scandinavian spook, isn’t it?”

Dr von Haller: ” Yes, spook is a ver good word for it–another Scandinavian word. Sometimes a troublesome goblin, sometimes a huge, embracing lubberfiend, sometimes an ugly animal creature, sometimes a helper and server, even a lovely enchantress, a true Princess from Far Away: but never a full or complete human being. And the battle with trolls that Ibsen wrote about is a good metaphor to describe the wrestling and wrangling we go through when the archetypes we carry in ourselves seem to be embodied in people we have to deal with in real life.”

(Robertson Davies, The Manticore, p. 202)

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