Beowulf vs. Gawain & the Green Knight

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In every class I've had, high school or college, where we read Beowulf, it was immediately followed by Gawain. Both big, historically important pseudo-Xtian poems usually juxtaposed (in my classes) because all the teachers were uncreative and taught English works chronologically. Consequently I tend to thik of Gawain as the "We Are the Champions" to Beowulf's "We Will Rock You": although somewhat dissimilar, they're always paired together so it's natural to think of them as two sides of the same Nordic/Norman coin.

Gawain wins my vote anyday.
* Kennings v. fucktons of nutso alliteration: alliteration pwns. "The dainty damsel did the doughty duke" or somesuch has enriched my life way much more than "whale-road" et al. Gawain sounds like it could have been written by L. Frank Baum on a particularly prolific day, totally imaginative and full of light.
* How do high school teachers convince kids to read older literature? Inherent violence, natch. ("What did Shylock just say, students? Yes, James?" "He gets to cut out the guy's flesh. Like a whole pound!") And while hanging a monster's arm above the door of a mead hall is a pretty hilarious piece of imagery that would make for a great gingerbread house, a guy who can CUT HIS OWN HEAD OFF wins the Tarantino factor.

Those are my only criteria, please add.

Abbott (Abbott), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 17:14 (fifteen years ago) link

Beowolf was a dickface. I prefer Thor

Mr Jones (Mr Jones), Wednesday, 24 May 2006 17:24 (fifteen years ago) link

I'd like to quote the first line of gawain 'cos it's always stuck with me inthat random way that some first lines do, but my keyboard isn't configured for old english letters, or phonetic script. Is there a way to do it?

Mr Tutt (sti:v), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 13:09 (fifteen years ago) link

I recall being told that scholarly opinion suggests that the real-world site of the Green Knight action in Gawain is probably somewhere in Cheshire, maybe the Wirral peninsula. That ruined it for me. Beowulf's more fun anyway.

Tim (Tim), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 13:21 (fifteen years ago) link

Speaking of Beowulf, is anyone aware of this upcoming film adapation directed by, of all people, Robert Ze-goddamn-meckis:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0442933/

Added bonus: CRISPIN GLOVER as Grendel.

Dudes...

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (Plastic Gas Booby Trap), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 13:30 (fifteen years ago) link

SAGAS OF THE ICELANDERS, dudes

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 13:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Stence OTM.

Search: Laxdaela Saga, Njal's Saga.
Destroy: King Harald's Saga, which is a bit rub.

I'm off to Iceland later this year, I am a little concerned that I might get my skull cleft in two for insulting somebody's cow at the wrong time.

Tim (Tim), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 13:58 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm reading laxardal right now. so great!

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 14:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Sagas pwn. I also like the Niebelingelungundalungalend (sp).

Abbott (Abbott), Wednesday, 31 May 2006 16:32 (fifteen years ago) link

two years pass...

* Kennings v. fucktons of nutso alliteration: alliteration pwns. "The dainty damsel did the doughty duke" or somesuch has enriched my life way much more than "whale-road" et al. Gawain sounds like it could have been written by L. Frank Baum on a particularly prolific day, totally imaginative and full of light.

wtf are you on about, beowulf's full of alliteration

max, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:56 (thirteen years ago) link

...in the original anglo-saxon!!!!

max, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:56 (thirteen years ago) link

still, dope poem

max, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:56 (thirteen years ago) link

five years pass...

Unsurprisingly loving the news of this.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 19 March 2014 17:58 (seven years ago) link

The Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf would be hard to beat.

Aimless, Wednesday, 19 March 2014 19:04 (seven years ago) link

Green Knight vs The Pearl = Pearl wins

cardamon, Wednesday, 19 March 2014 20:44 (seven years ago) link

Beowulf is a lot more 'real' than the Green Knight, which doesn't have to mean 'better'

cardamon, Wednesday, 19 March 2014 20:45 (seven years ago) link

that is v exciting news!

Interested to see what Tolkien made of it. Hope there's a schleppy paperback version & that I don't have to buy a leatherbound box etc

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 20 March 2014 01:07 (seven years ago) link

Green Knight vs The Pearl = Pearl wins

oh hell, no. I just remember Pearl being the worst and dullest slog.

woof, Thursday, 20 March 2014 11:08 (seven years ago) link

seven years pass...

We saw the Green Knight last night and I can't believe this movie is a wide summer release (to the extent that there is such a thing this year). It is pretty amazing and sticks surprisingly very very close to the poem. There were a fair number of walk outs. I thought it was astonishing.

akm, Sunday, 1 August 2021 17:05 (one month ago) link

Can't wait!

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 1 August 2021 18:42 (one month ago) link

yeah crazy that this very good movie was the first I saw in a theater since the pandemic

Bongo Jongus, Sunday, 15 August 2021 15:18 (one month ago) link

watching this tonight! but rented, projected on a wall. i know the rough contours of the legend (which is factual, i believe) and that's about it

professional anti- (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 18 August 2021 23:03 (one month ago) link

Yeah I've got the Roku channel set up on my TV, very curious here.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 23:07 (one month ago) link

I know it was only a few weeks ago, but I still think about this film all the time.

akm, Wednesday, 18 August 2021 23:10 (one month ago) link

Definitely an interesting watch. It's not the poem, that's for sure, but it holds to a lot of key beats. Very much in its own plane and I appreciated the ending (which, again, not the poem).

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 August 2021 03:30 (four weeks ago) link

i was wondering how "faithful" it was to the original!

i was kind of embarrassed by how often my mind drifted to monty python

professional anti- (Karl Malone), Thursday, 19 August 2021 04:26 (four weeks ago) link

i appreciated the whole thing with the green sash though

professional anti- (Karl Malone), Thursday, 19 August 2021 04:27 (four weeks ago) link

Oh absolutely a lot of Python bits came to mind

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 August 2021 05:18 (four weeks ago) link

Anyway a couple of good costume threads from friends, the second also being one of my podcast cohosts.

1 - Hey folks! It's a surprise #threadtalk on the medieval theme of the moment: #TheGreenKnight! I just had to come out of hibernation to talk about what I saw in the theater.

Velvet! Crêpe! CROWNS! Pentagrams! I've got you covered. Well, at least *partially*. 📗🪓 pic.twitter.com/oawUJhmqWd

— Natania Barron (@NataniaBarron) August 3, 2021

GREEN KNIGHT COSTUME APPRECIATION THREAD

— Jared Pechacek (@vandroidhelsing) August 19, 2021

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 August 2021 15:30 (four weeks ago) link

this was well-served by seeing it in a theater with the elaborate sound design.

some of the A24-era stylistic tics are starting to wear on me a bit, and all the brooding and frowning and meaningful staring had me drifting a little in the 2nd half. but the costumes & design were indeed A+++++ though, and this had some truly unforgettable moments and sequences, incl the 360 pan to the skeleton and the winifred episode. wiki says there was a post-credits beat that i missed, apparently.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Thursday, 19 August 2021 15:49 (four weeks ago) link

this was well-served by seeing it in a theater with the elaborate sound design.

I mostly watched on headphones, definitely helped.

The post-credits beat in the film itself is just a young girl putting on the crown in the throne room. It almost seems like a casual shot though I'm sure it wasn't. As for the actual A24 Screening Room post-credits bit, that had Ralph Ineson reading directly from a section of the original poem as translated by Tolkien, which I admit I was all for.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 August 2021 15:51 (four weeks ago) link

Gonna try my best to finally see this this afternoon, the only show today, the last before it leaves the local theatre.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 August 2021 16:12 (four weeks ago) link

Might as well! It's up for online rental now in general but yeah, strikes me as a good big screen watch.

Anyway, interview with the costume designer:

https://www.vogue.com/article/the-green-knight-malgosia-turzanska-interview/amp

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 19 August 2021 16:14 (four weeks ago) link

i took middle english lit in college but it’s been a while since i last read Gawain

reading the Armitage translation today (my tolkien edition is buried on my shelf somewhere) forgot how much i love this text, looking forward to the movie, plan to check it out soon maybe this weekend

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 19 August 2021 17:58 (four weeks ago) link

I thought this was exactly what I expected it to be and more or less what I wanted it to be, though at times it took itself so seriously that it almost felt a bit too much. (Obv. I thought a lot of Python as well.) Oh, and if there was a post-credits scene ... well, fuck that. It's bad enough that that's become a thing, but the last thing I want to do in a theatre during a pandemic is linger longer than needed. Sorry, gifted team of set decorators, costume designers and ominously discordant musicians!

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:26 (four weeks ago) link

ominously discordant musician: YONNGGGGHHHHHHHHWRRRRRRRPPPPPPPPMMMMM

professional anti- (Karl Malone), Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:31 (four weeks ago) link

I just kind of assumed all that stuff was a Kubrick homage.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 19 August 2021 21:34 (four weeks ago) link

This movie drags. And it has the fake CGI of many LOTR imitators.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 August 2021 23:35 (two weeks ago) link

Definitely drags, by design/pretension, with hit or miss results. Didn't mind any of the FX, though.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 31 August 2021 23:54 (two weeks ago) link

i did not much like this movie, not sure lowery has the juice for ... ideas.

agree w/ above about the a24 set becoming a samey to the point that it can be a chore. i said on letterboxd that this movie is if ari aster took english 202 way seriously and i stand by it.

Clay, Wednesday, 1 September 2021 00:02 (two weeks ago) link

I thought this handled some themes I’d very much not expect out of a hollywood epic in interesting ways, but ultimately I couldn’t connect with much of it. the CGI was whatever I guess. it seems like the sort of movie that might reward repeat viewing but I can’t really see myself signing up for another 130 minutes of that kind of pace

k3vin k., Tuesday, 14 September 2021 02:34 (four days ago) link

agree w/ above about the a24 set becoming a samey to the point that it can be a chore. i said on letterboxd that this movie is if ari aster took english 202 way seriously and i stand by it.

― Clay, Tuesday, August 31, 2021 8:02 PM (one week ago) bookmarkflaglink

this is an extremely specific criticism and i love it

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 14 September 2021 02:48 (four days ago) link


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