Posts tagged with ‘Anglo-Saxon’

The Wanderer by Jane Holland

This, according to the blurb, is a ‘controversial reworking’ of the famous Anglo-Saxon poem of the same name*. ‘Controversial’ and ‘famous’ are both relative terms here, of course. I assume the controversy mainly arose because the poem is given a female narrator. To quote the introduction: I also transformed the male ‘Wanderer’ of the poem’s title into […]

Pulp Beowulf

A link from C. Dale Young sent me to this article which is rather unflattering about a scheme to promote poetry in Seattle. What got me going, though, was this, from someone defending the scheme in the comments: On comprehending poetry: you say “Poetry, by its very definition, is a difficult thing to write and to comprehend.” […]

Hwaet?

A big-budget Hollywood version of Beowulf is obviously going to either be a travesty of the poem or commercial suicide. When you hear that Angelina Jolie is embarrassed about her nude scenes in the movie, I think it’s pretty clear which one.

Anglo-Saxon names

Teju has a couple of great posts about names and what they mean (1, 2), specifically relating to Yoruba. Which set me thinking about Anglo-Saxon naming. I have no idea exactly what relationship the Saxons had with their names, and I don’t know what academic work has been done on it—I’m just going on the […]

Anglo-Saxon literature

I was lying awake last night, unable to sleep because of the heat, and wondering whether translating a bit of Anglo-Saxon poetry would get me out of my lengthening barren spell. I think the majority of people who did my degree resented having to spend such a lot of time on Anglo-Saxon, but I always […]

In Praise of Shadows

‘Modern man, in his well-lit house, knows nothing of the beauty of gold…’ From Junichirō Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows, an essay from 1933 discussing the importance of lighting in traditional Japanese aesthetics. The gold, the lacquer, Nō theatre, even Japanese make-up are all, he suggests, dependent for their effect on low, indirect lighting; bright […]

Beowulf as a chiefdom-based society

I’m just reading Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright, a book which argues that there is in fact a good theoretical basis (from game-theory) for seeing the development of human societies as directional. I believe the book later goes onto biological systems as well, but I haven’t got to that bit. Anyway, […]