Friday, December 31, 2010

New Scholarship on Beowulf Comics

The first volume of D. S. Brewer's new Medievalism series includes two articles that discuss Beowulf comics. There is also some comments on comments in the editors' introduction. Details on the complete collection follows below.

Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination 
Edited by David Clark and Nicholas Perkins

First Published: 21 Oct 2010
13 Digit ISBN: 9781843842514
Pages: 302
Size: 23.4 x 15.6
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: D.S.Brewer
Series: Medievalism
Subject: Medieval Literature

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.

Contents (from WorldCAT):

Introduction / Nicholas Perkins and David Clark --
From Heorot to Hollywood : Beowulf in its third millennium / Chris Jones --
Priming the poets : the making of Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon reader / Mark 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 A. Lees --
Boom : seeing Beowulf in pictures and print / Siân Echard -- [comments and images (in full color) from Gareth Hinds's Beowulf]
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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