A brief fitt ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A brief fitt

It's gone quiet because I'm back with Beowulf and the Geats, squinting through the Anglo-Saxon and picking out another version. I'm now about halfway through. Why? It's not like the world needs a new translation. Maybe I just want some light diversion from the mayhem and slaughter of crrriticking.

Back later this week.

(Image: first page of the Beowulf codex, British Museum)


Anonymous said...

I did a dissertation on Beowulf and barely survived.

I wish you luck and clear-mindedness!

Alison Croggon said...

Thanks Anon. I'm mainly having fun, I fear. I'm up to the trek to get Grendel's mother, which is full of wonderful Scandinavian uncanniness.

Alison Croggon said...

Emailed from Mark Williams:

Have you read John Gardner's 'Grendel', published by Picador in the late 70's of last century? All done from Mr G's perspective: he (Mr G) doesn't like Heriot & the Geats much, as you'd expect. His Mum's an interesting study in that one, all blind instinct, she's so Ur-monster she has no language. Reminds me too of Alan Garner's Strandloper and others of that ilk.

Oddly, Mark, you're the second person this week who's mentioned that book! I must obviously get hold of a copy.

He is a fascinating character. Maybe the proto-Caliban (not that WS would have known about him). What I find fascinating is that on one hand, Grendel and his mother are ascribed all sorts of human motivations and feelings - grief, loneliness, hatred of course, vengefulness, and presumed love for each other - and on the other, are placed utterly outside human pity. That's the Geats for you, I guess.

Grendel's raids on Heorot have, of course, been described as the earliest known example of music criticism... but maybe I won't go there...

Michael Magnusson said...

Did you ever see the animated film "Grendel, Grendel, Grendel" made here in the 1970s (and produced by Phillip Adams I think)