Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination

Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination


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"An excellent collection... breaks new ground in many areas. Should make a substantial impact on the discussion of the contemporary influence of Anglo-Saxon Culture". Conor Mc Carthy, author of Seamus Heaney and the Medieval Imagination Britain's pre-Conquest past and its culture continues to fascinate modern writers and artists. From Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader to Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, and from high modernism to the musclebound heroes of comic book and Hollywood, Anglo-Saxon England has been a powerful and often unexpected source of inspiration, antagonism, and reflection. The essays here engage with the ways in which the Anglo-Saxons and their literature have been received, confronted, and re-envisioned in the modern imagination. They offer fresh insights on established figures, such as W.H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Jones, and on contemporary writers such as Geoffrey Hill, Peter Reading, P.D. James, and Heaney. They explore the interaction between text, image and landscape in medieval and modern books, the recasting of mythic figures such as Wayland Smith, and the metamorphosis of Beowulf into Grendel - as a novel and as grand opera. The early medieval emerges not simply as a site of nostalgia or anxiety in modern revisions, but instead provides a vital arena for creativity, pleasure, and artistic experiment. Contributors: 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781843842514
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 10/21/2010
Series: Medievalism Series , #1
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Having left school aged 15 no-one expected David Clark to become a senior teacher and academic. Following evening classes and then full time further education he has held numerous appointments in the academic world.

He has surveyed every major and many minor battlefield in the UK and has written a series of articles for History For All. He lives at Kettering, Northants.

Associate Professor and Tutor in English, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

Introduction - Nicholas Perkins and David Clark
From Heorot to Hollywood: Beowulf in its Third Millennium - C S Jones
Priming the Poets: the Making of Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader - M Atherton
Owed to Both Sides: W.H. Auden's Double Debt to the Literature of the North - Heather O'Donoghue
Writing for an Anglo-Saxon Audience in the Twentieth Century: J.R.R. Tolkien's Old English Chronicles - Maria Artamonova
'Wounded men and wounded trees': David Jones and the Anglo-Saxon Culture Tangle - Anna Johnson
Basil Bunting, Briggflatts, Lindisfarne, and Anglo-Saxon Interlace - Clare Lees
BOOM: Seeing Beowulf in Pictures and Print - Sian Echard
Window in the Wall: Looking for Grand Opera in John Gardner's Grendel - Allen J. Frantzen
Re-placing Masculinity: The DC Comics Beowulf Series and its Context, 1975-6 - Catherine A M Clarke
P.D. James Reads Beowulf - John Halbrooks
Ban Welondes: Wayland Smith in Popular Culture - Maria Sachiko Cecire
'Overlord of the M5': The Superlative Structure of Sovereignty in Geoffrey Hill's Mercian Hymns - Hannah J. Crawforth
The Absent Anglo-Saxon Past in Ted Hughes's Elmet - Joshua Davies
Resurrecting Saxon Things: Peter Reading, 'species decline', and Old English Poetry - Rebecca Anne Barr

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