Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Important article on the G.N.-themed "Beowulf"

Via our indispensable friends at Arts & Letters Daily, an exceptional article on the current graphic-novel themed movie version of Beowulf, screenplay Neil Gaiman. I can't extract the kernel: it is all kernel. But it hits several topics of our class interests, including the disconnect between what academia prefers and what (largely male) readers and movie-watchers prefer and purchase; the difference between pagan and Christian notions of the heroic; and the nature of criticism.
....there is a distinct sympathy for honor culture in [works like Miller's 300]....brute strength, tribal loyalty, and stoic courage actually get things done.
Academe finds all this loathsome and backward, and, of course, our liberal culture is ostensibly opposed to the social hierarchies, patriarchy, and chauvinism of older honor cultures. But narratives and representations about heroic strength (even flawed and misdirected) remain deeply satisfying for many people.
Link to the article from the Chronicle of Higher Education is here.

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