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10535Re: Re: [mythsoc] Heaney's Beowulf or someone's Hiawatha?

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  • alexeik@aol.com
    Dec 3, 2003
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      In a message dated 12/3/3 2:36:07 PM, you wrote:

      <<LOL I have to admit that I like "Hiawatha" better than "Wenabozho", but
      would one call it good taste or perhaps good judgement of his primarily
      English-speaking audience?>>

      Certainly "Hiawatha" (especially pronounced the familiar English way: the
      actual Iroquois pronunciation would be 'hee-ya-watt-ha") sounds far less bizarre
      to an English-speaking audience than "Wenabozho". Longfellow's choice is
      perfectly reasonable if one assumes that his audience will never have any further
      interest in the culture that serves as the background for the story. For anyone
      who does know something about it, however, the effect is as jarring as, say,
      arbitrarily giving one of the characters in a Chinese story a Japanese name.
      Alexei
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