Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination (Medievalism) by David Clark, Nicholas Perkins

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By David Clark, Nicholas Perkins

`An first-class collection... breaks new flooring in lots of components. should still make a considerable influence at the dialogue of the modern impact of Anglo-Saxon Culture'. Conor McCarthy, writer of Seamus Heaney and the Medieval mind's eye Britain's pre-Conquest previous and its tradition keeps to fascinate glossy writers and artists. From Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader to Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, and from excessive modernism to the musclebound heroes of comedian e-book and Hollywood, Anglo-Saxon England has been a strong and infrequently unforeseen resource of proposal, antagonism, and mirrored image. The essays right here interact with the ways that the Anglo-Saxons and their literature were bought, faced, and re-envisioned within the smooth mind's eye. they give clean insights on proven figures, corresponding to W.H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Jones, and on modern writers similar to Geoffrey Hill, Peter interpreting, P.D. James, and Heaney. They discover the interplay among textual content, photo and panorama in medieval and glossy books, the recasting of mythic figures resembling Wayland Smith, and the metamorphosis of Beowulf into Grendel - as a singular and as grand opera. The early medieval emerges no longer as a domain of nostalgia or nervousness, in glossy revisions, yet in its place offers an important enviornment for creativity, excitement, and creative scan. individuals: Bernard O'Donoghue, Chris Jones, Mark Atherton, Maria Artamonova, Anna Johnson, Clare A. Lees, Sian Echard, Catherine A.M. Clarke, Maria Sachiko Cecire, Allen J. Frantzen, John Halbrooks, Hannah J. Crawforth, Joshua Davies, Rebecca Anne Barr

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Again the Nowell Codex poem offers us a parallel : Beowulf does, after all, become his own narrator in the court of Hygelac, the details of his account of the Danish adventure differing in some respects from that which the main narrative voice has earlier given. What is most puzzling about Beowulf ’s eight-day leave of absence is that Gaiman and Avary should have found it in the poem at all. At the surface of Grendel’s mere, when bubbles of blood reach the surface, Michael Alexander’s ‘fucking great’ Penguin translation reads : ‘Many were persuaded that the she-wolf of the deep had done away with him.

34 In this respect it is instructive to consider the process of re-understanding by which Gaiman and Avary arrived at the innovation of making Grendel and the 32 John Grigsby, Beowulf and Grendel : The Truth Behind England’s Oldest Legend (London, 2005), pp. 115–20, at p. 20. 33 Eric Stanley, Imagining the Anglo-Saxon Past : The Search for Anglo-Saxon Paganism and AngloSaxon Trial by Jury (Cambridge, 2000). 34 In the early years of the twenty-first century the British Government funding body the Arts and Humanities Research Council began to demand evidence of the financial and social ‘impact’ of humanities research.

C. Wyld (Oxford, 1913), pp. 1–33. 2010 15:27 Priming the Poets 35 Sweet was not averse to seeing echoes of lost poems in some of the earlier annals of the Chronicle, for instance the annal for 473 (retaining Sweet’s presentation of the text) : Hér Hęngest and Æsc gef·uhton wiþ Wealas, and gen·ámon un-árímedlicu hęre-réaf, and þá Wealas flugon þá Ęngle swá swá fýr. Here Hengest and Æsc fought against the Welsh and seized immeasurable plunder, and the Welsh fled the English like fire. 19 In short, then, the opening words of the first chapter of the 1876 Reader are highly revealing, and with hindsight we can detect many of the ideological, cultural and intellectual factors involved in the original conception and compilation of the Reader.

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