Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Baby Grendel

The end of the semester is getting very close, and I decided (hee hee) to end my students' sojourn into poetry with Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf. I dearly love Beowulf, perhaps mainly because I never had to read it in high school or in college or in graduate school, but instead came to it in my own time and way. Of course, I am depriving my students of that possibility...oh well.

Today we watched a little of the DVD of Benjamin Bagby's performance, which I find completely enthralling and amazing. You can see parts on YouTube, and Netflix has it. :) Some students were not into it, some were, one guy said it freaked him out, and one said he was trying to figure out, "if this guy is great, or is he wasting his life?" (Um, well, I think that really depends, doesn't it? Clearly Bagby doesn't think he is wasting his life, and that's the opinion that matters most.)

Sunday I was watching the part where Beowulf and Grendel fight, and Cora was playing with her puzzle blocks on the floor, but got very interested in Bagby and especially seems to enjoy hearing the Old English. I thought this was weird. Then I remembered that one of the things she really reacted to in the womb was when I would read Beowulf outloud - to myself or to students. Hmm.

So tonight at dinner, when she started making horrible faces, and then asking Chris to reprise his fake-Old English imitation of Bagby, we realized that she is in fact a total Beowulf junkie.

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