Anglo-Saxon Culture and the Modern Imagination (Medievalism) by David Clark, Nicholas Perkins

By David Clark, Nicholas Perkins

`An very good collection... breaks new floor in lots of parts. may still make a considerable influence at the dialogue of the modern impression of Anglo-Saxon Culture'. Conor McCarthy, writer of Seamus Heaney and the Medieval mind's eye Britain's pre-Conquest prior and its tradition maintains to fascinate glossy writers and artists. From Henry Sweet's Anglo-Saxon Reader to Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, and from excessive modernism to the musclebound heroes of comedian booklet and Hollywood, Anglo-Saxon England has been a robust and infrequently unforeseen resource of suggestion, antagonism, and mirrored image. The essays the following interact with the ways that the Anglo-Saxons and their literature were got, faced, and re-envisioned within the sleek mind's eye. they provide clean insights on demonstrated figures, similar to W.H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Jones, and on modern writers similar to Geoffrey Hill, Peter interpreting, P.D. James, and Heaney. They discover the interplay among textual content, photograph and panorama in medieval and glossy books, the recasting of mythic figures reminiscent of Wayland Smith, and the metamorphosis of Beowulf into Grendel - as a unique and as grand opera. The early medieval emerges no longer as a website of nostalgia or anxiousness, in smooth revisions, yet as an alternative presents an essential area for creativity, excitement, and inventive scan. individuals: 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

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20 One early article, ‘Sketch of the History of Anglo-Saxon Poetry’, written while Sweet was still a (mature) student at Balliol College, Oxford, demonstrates fairly well his ability to appreciate Old English poetic form. A characteristic of the poetry, Sweet states, is its ‘conciseness and directness’ seen in its avoidance of elaborate simile. 21 In many ways the ‘Sketch’ of 1871 can be regarded as a plan in preparation for the textbook of 1876, and we can see what attracted Sweet to the poems he eventually chose for the Reader.

The old Northumbrian poems were also copied in the West Saxon (W. ) dialect ; and as the original texts are almost all lost, we know them only in their W. S. e. Anglian. Indeed, many present-day undergraduate students of Old English still write about Anglo-Saxon literature in these very terms. Sweet’s remarks on the opening piece (the now hardy perennial ‘Cynewulf and Cyneheard’) have been highly influential  the first sentence survived right through to Whitelock’s revised text of 1967 : The following tragic narrative stands out conspicuously among the brief dry notices of which the Chronicle up to the time of Alfred is mainly composed : we do not meet with so vivid and circumstantial a piece of history till more than a hundred years later.

425 : ‘the Frisians […] are Englishmen who stayed at home’. 2010 15:27 Mark Atherton 34 almost destroyed by the Danish inroads. The south then became the centre of culture, and a great revival of literature took place in the ninth century under King Alfred. From this time onwards we have an uninterrupted series of prose works both original and translated from the Latin. The old Northumbrian poems were also copied in the West Saxon (W. ) dialect ; and as the original texts are almost all lost, we know them only in their W.

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