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‘A Warrior Be’
Impressions of Beowulf
As a teen I read Beowulf and loved it.
As a man in my prime I read Michael Crichton’s Eaters of Men, made into the movie The 13th Warrior, and liked that quite a bit, being an adaptation of Beowulf, in which the monstrous elements in the epic are supposed to represent late Neanderthal survivors.
In 2014 I reread Beowulf, as translated by John McNamara, and used it as a study of masculinity in hierarchy in the book Incubus of Your Sacred Emasculation.
Now, as I delve into epic poetry in support of my final history project, A Dread Grace, tracing the feminine influence in Aryan warfare, the narrative fabric of Beowulf begs to be examined thread-by-thread.
I will not be doing an adaptation, but rather quoting judiciously from McNamara’s translation and then offering impressions.
The online posting of this work in progress will be incomplete, in that I will wait for editorial assistance in word origin searches. Possibly insightful diction not commonly used in modern English, such as “foundling” will be noted but not explored, with the footnoting of such reserved for the book-length compilation of Beowulf.
I will not reference any of McNamara’s notes or footnotes but rather encourage the reader to avail himself of a copy of what is the finest example of a translation of epic poetry it has been my pleasure to enjoy.
The overriding theme of Beowulf, from the first page, is an overt celebration of masculinity even in its most grim forms. In light of the near death of masculine culture arising in our own time, along the very cultural trajectory of which Beowulf stands as a point of primal departure, I intend to use the epic to examine the question which will be posed in the final volume of the project: Daughters of Aryas. That said, A Warrior Be will, if Cruel Crone Fate permits, be released long before the final volume it is intended to serve.
Thank you all for you support in such matters. Also, any readers which care to contribute to the footnotes, feel free to tender such using the comment function on the site and noting your intention, or by emailing me at jameslafond.com@gmail.com.
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