Saturday, August 13, 2005

Dissertation notes: Beowulf and trauma

From Harbus, Antonina. The Life of the Mind in Old English Poetry. Costerus New Series 143. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2002.

"Beowulf tells Hygelac that Hro&#eth;gar 'hwilum gyd awræc / so&#eth; and sorlic' (2108b-09a) 'at times recounted a tale, true and sorrowful,' as if the mournfulness were as essential as the truthfulness and both were inherently entertaining (a similar taste for misery exemplified by the elegiac poetry attests to the conventional combination of personal narrative with sorrow). The suggestion in Beowulf is that public experience of sorrow, through shared memory and textualizing the past, is a social bond."


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