Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It amazes me the strong, strident even, reactions people have to adaptations of Beowulf. In a recent discussion someone sent me at LiveJournal has at least some folks upset that Heaney used "archaisms" such as "tholed", which his introduction to the stand alone version has him explaining that the word derived from his grandparents Ulster dialect which one writer there said was a "snobbish" and didn't make Heaney special.

Interestingly though no one reacted specifically to things like "So" for "hwaet" or "tarn hag", and other things that have annoyed others. I do find it surprising and have a theory as to the root of it.

One of the good things that this shows though is that there is excitement about Beowulf, an excitement we Anglo=Saxonists should harness and enlarge on and encourage.

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