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Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker

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  • wendell_wagner
    http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2014/06/02/140602crbo_books_acoc ella?currentPage=all
    Message 1 of 9 , May 26 7:18 PM
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    • Mike Foster
      Thank you, Wendell. My perennial face-slap moment is when Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored. Mike From:
      Message 2 of 9 , May 26 7:57 PM
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        Thank you, Wendell.
         
        My perennial face-slap moment is when Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored.
         
        Mike
         
         
         
        Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:18 PM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
         
      • David Bratman
        Mine is where the reviewer says Tolkien wrote three sequels to The Hobbit. -----Original Message----- From: Mike Foster mafoster@mtco.com [mythsoc] Sent:
        Message 3 of 9 , May 26 10:46 PM
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          Mine is where the reviewer says Tolkien wrote three sequels to The Hobbit.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: "'Mike Foster' mafoster@... [mythsoc]"
          Sent: May 26, 2014 7:57 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker



          Thank you, Wendell.
           
          My perennial face-slap moment is when Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored.
           
          Mike
           
           
           
          Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:18 PM
          Subject: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
           


        • Andrew Higgins
          Does anyone know if Tom Shippey will be reviewing Tolkien s Beowulf and if so for what publication? That will be a review/analysis worth reading. I am
          Message 4 of 9 , May 27 1:14 AM
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            Does anyone know if Tom Shippey will be reviewing Tolkien's Beowulf and if so for what publication?   That will be a review/analysis worth reading.  I am trying to avoid reading reviews before I get through the whole book once - much to explore and investigate - six pages of notes so far! 

            Thanks Andy 


            From the IPAD of: 
            Andrew Higgins 
            Director of Development 
            Glyndebourne (andrew.higgins@...)

            IPhone 07447644884 

            Lif is læne: eal scæceð leoht and lif somod [life is fleeting: everything hastens away, light and life together]” (Beowulf trans by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1936). 

            On 27 May 2014, at 06:46, "David Bratman dbratman@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

             

            Mine is where the reviewer says Tolkien wrote three sequels to The Hobbit.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: "'Mike Foster' mafoster@... [mythsoc]"
            Sent: May 26, 2014 7:57 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker



            Thank you, Wendell.
             
            My perennial face-slap moment is when Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored.
             
            Mike
             
             
             
            Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:18 PM
            Subject: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
             


          • wendell_wagner
            Would someone like to write to The New Yorker and point out the mistakes in the review? No, I don t want to do it. Some of you know much more about the
            Message 5 of 9 , May 27 1:19 AM
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              Would someone like to write to The New Yorker and point out the mistakes in the review?  No, I don't want to do it.  Some of you know much more about the subject and can do better at finding the mistakes than me.
               
              Wendell Wagner
               
              In a message dated 5/26/2014 10:18:24 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com writes:
               
            • Jason Fisher
              ... I hate to spoil it for you, Andy, but Beowulf dies. LOL! :) Meanwhile, I m still waiting for my copy! Apparently, a train derailment in Kalispell, MT
              Message 6 of 9 , May 27 7:40 AM
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                > I am trying to avoid reading reviews before I get through the whole book once

                I hate to spoil it for you, Andy, but Beowulf dies. LOL! :)

                Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for my copy! Apparently, a train derailment in Kalispell, MT delayed the shipment by several days, but according to the tracking, it looks like it's coming today at last!

                Best,
                Jason

                From: "Andrew Higgins asthiggins@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 1:14 AM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker

                 
                Does anyone know if Tom Shippey will be reviewing Tolkien's Beowulf and if so for what publication?   That will be a review/analysis worth reading.  I am trying to avoid reading reviews before I get through the whole book once - much to explore and investigate - six pages of notes so far! 

                Thanks Andy 


                From the IPAD of: 
                Andrew Higgins 
                Director of Development 
                Glyndebourne (andrew.higgins@...)

                IPhone 07447644884 

                Lif is læne: eal scæceð leoht and lif somod [life is fleeting: everything hastens away, light and life together]” (Beowulf trans by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1936). 

                On 27 May 2014, at 06:46, "David Bratman dbratman@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                 
                Mine is where the reviewer says Tolkien wrote three sequels to The Hobbit.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: "'Mike Foster' mafoster@... [mythsoc]"
                Sent: May 26, 2014 7:57 PM
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker



                Thank you, Wendell.
                 
                My perennial face-slap moment is when Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored.
                 
                Mike
                 
                 
                 
                Sent: Monday, May 26, 2014 9:18 PM
                Subject: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
                 




              • Travis Buchanan
                On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM, Jason Fisher visualweasel@yahoo.com[mythsoc] ... ​Thanks a lot Fisher! Mine arrived today (Amazon.uk) but thanks to you now
                Message 7 of 9 , May 27 8:00 AM
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                  On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM, Jason Fisher visualweasel@... [mythsoc] <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                  I hate to spoil it for you, Andy, but Beowulf dies. LOL! :)

                  Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for my copy! Apparently, a train derailment in Kalispell, MT delayed the shipment by several days, but according to the tracking, it looks like it's coming +today at last!

                  ​Thanks a lot Fisher! Mine arrived today (Amazon.uk) but thanks to you now is mostly spoiled.​ I'm interested to see Tolkien's drawings of Angelina Jolie, however, and what he does with Antonio Banderas's character.

                  Travis
                • Jason Fisher
                  ROFL! :) ... ROFL! :) From: Travis Buchanan travisbuck7@gmail.com [mythsoc] To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 27 9:37 AM
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                    ROFL! :)


                    From: "Travis Buchanan travisbuck7@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:00 AM
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker

                     

                    On Tue, May 27, 2014 at 3:40 PM, Jason Fisher visualweasel@... [mythsoc] <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                    I hate to spoil it for you, Andy, but Beowulf dies. LOL! :)

                    Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for my copy! Apparently, a train derailment in Kalispell, MT delayed the shipment by several days, but according to the tracking, it looks like it's coming +today at last!

                    ​Thanks a lot Fisher! Mine arrived today (Amazon.uk) but thanks to you now is mostly spoiled.​ I'm interested to see Tolkien's drawings of Angelina Jolie, however, and what he does with Antonio Banderas's character.

                    Travis


                  • scribblerworks
                    Good god, I had to look up the reviewer after reading that. A graduate degree in comparative literature, and a Ph.D. -- and it reads like an undergraduate s
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 27 11:08 AM
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                      Good god, I had to look up the reviewer after reading that. A graduate
                      degree in comparative literature, and a Ph.D. -- and it reads like an
                      undergraduate's essay, although admittedly a talented one. Maybe it's just
                      that I have been laboring away editing a novel for a client recently, but
                      so MUCH passive language in her writing: is, is, is, is....

                      And the fanciful speculations about JRRT's personal life and attitudes?
                      Did we need that? It's not that they are bad or negative. It's that they
                      are unnecessary. Besides, anyone who has done much delving into Tolkien's
                      biography would know that his true "secret lover" was THE SILMARILLION,
                      even though BEOWULF was much beloved.

                      I also do not see the point of the parenthetical observation that the
                      grimmer, bloodier battle against Grendel's Mother needed to be pointed out
                      as the only one against a "woman." Has the reviewer been spending too much
                      time campaigning about violence against women? The BEOWULF poet does not
                      spend much time focusing on her "womanliness" other than the natural
                      ferocity of a mother protecting/revenging her child. In the poem, she is
                      unequivocally a monster, a descendant of Cain.

                      Regarding the pagan elements in the poem, my interpretation is that they
                      are less than the reviewer thinks they are. But, I concede that to be a
                      matter open to debate, and the elements she points to are worth
                      considering.

                      I'm not sure what to make of it as a review, however. Lots of gushing, but
                      she doesn't really come out with an evaluation, such as: if you want a
                      poetic telling of the story, read Heaney; if you want to understand what
                      the original does, read Tolkien.

                      I also note that she barely touches on the matter of the notes, she
                      focuses almost entirely on the translation only. Given that she DOES note
                      that about two thirds of the volume consists of Tolkien's notes and
                      commentary, shouldn't she have covered that portion a bit more?


                      >
                      > Mine is where the reviewer says Tolkien wrote three sequels to The Hobbit.
                      >
                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: "'Mike Foster' mafoster@... [mythsoc]"
                      > Sent: May 26, 2014 7:57 PM
                      > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Thank you, Wendell. My perennial face-slap moment is when
                      > Beowulf jumps into Ma Grendel’s stinky swamp fully armored.
                      > Mike From: mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday,
                      > May 26, 2014 9:18 PM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject:
                      > [mythsoc] Review of Beowulf in The New Yorker
                      > http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2014/06/02/140602crbo_books_acocella?currentPage=all
                      >
                      >
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