Download Beowulf: The Critical Heritage (Critical Heritage Series) by Andreas Haarder, T A Shippey, T. A. Shippey PDF

By Andreas Haarder, T A Shippey, T. A. Shippey

The creation to this ebook (free to Kindle clients) is usually a very good advent to the historical past of Beowulf scholarship. i am afraid i cannot tackle the remainder of the ebook; the cost is very excessive for the non-specialist. (It turns out to have a remarkably excessive revenues rank, given its excessive fee and recondite subject.)

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Extra resources for Beowulf: The Critical Heritage (Critical Heritage Series)

Example text

The simplest explanation at least for Müllenhoff’s early views on Beowulf is that they enabled him (like Outzen, or if one prefers, like James Macpherson of Ossian fame) to put his neglected home on the literary map. Müllenhoff’s first publication on Beowulf was his long article in the first issue of Nordalbingische Studien (see item 48). The title of this journal is significant, for by this time the lead in ‘Schleswig-Holsteinism’ had passed from Dahlmann to Uwe Lornsen (1793–1838), a North-Frisian from Sylt, whose suggestion for solving the Schleswig-Holstein question was to make one independent grand duchy called ‘Nordalbingien’, see Carr 1963:160.

Did Beowulf qualify? Here Grundtvig as often seems to reach a conclusion by arguing with himself, for he begins by objecting to the dragon—if it is ‘to some extent in the right’ then the poem loses the force of a struggle against cosmic evil—but slowly persuades himself that Grendel and the dragon are a true allegory of the inimical forces of falsehood: it is tempting to paraphrase for him that the aggressive Grendel is suggestio falsi, the hoarding dragon suppressio veri. Only then does Grundtvig get on to his third and most famous argument, his full and accurate case for the poem’s historicity as confirmed by other sources, see item 14.

He is even closer than Penzel, one feels, to making the connection with Grettis saga which would lie unnoticed by eager searchers for seventy years. Yet this sensible and authoritative review, which moreover was animated by in this case well-justified Danish national pride, provoked an outburst from Grundtvig, the great nineteenth-century promoter of Danish national feeling. One has to wonder why. The main reason is linguistic. Grundtvig feels (no doubt correctly) that Müller has made no effort to learn ‘as much Anglo-Saxon as one can learn in a fortnight’.

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