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>Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 11:24:20 -0700
>To: Little Oak School <[log in to unmask]>
>From: "Office of Resources for Int'l and Area Studies"
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>Subject: Re: Beowulf and the Goddess

>Interesting that you should send me this bit on the 13th Warrior today.  I
>went and saw it last weekend with my son really not knowing what to expect
>and have thought a lot about it.  I was surprised to hear the text lifted
>right out of Beowulf during the first third of the film I thought it really
>was in cool blend of Ibn Fadlan and Anglo-Saxon sources but that totally
>dissolves into pure Michael Crichton (a la Congo or Jurassic Park or any
>other silly adventure piece)by the time the eaters of the dead arrive.  As
>entertainment it's pretty impressive but I think it's completely wacko to
>start treating it like something historical in any sense.  I'm sure the
>film will set off a round of feminist Beowulf readings like the Anahita
>one.  One of my pet peeves is the reading of Beowulf as a sort of romantic
>Jungian tale of the supression of the primal memory of powerful women -- I
>remember the class two summers ago had this argument re feeling sorry for
>poor old Grendel and his mom. The horrors of exile and danger outside the
>firelight (as it were) in that brutal time are real enough without having
>to put fear of an ancient matriarchal past behind it.  I think too much
>psychoanalysis does a disservice to the story. As for the powerful position
>of Viking babes check out what Ibn Fadlan has to say about that
>  There's my morning
>tirade...back to work.
>Cheers, Michele
>Michele Delattre
>Office of Resources for International & Area Studies (ORIAS)
>120A Stephens Hall #2306
>Berkeley, CA 94720-2306
>TEL: (510) 643-0868
>FAX: (510) 642-9850
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