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#85770 11/05/02 07:59 PM
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Jackie Offline OP
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Things are slow today, so I thought I'd post some interesting words and phrases from the John Gardner version.

Grendel speaking of deer: "That is their happiness: they see all life without observing it."

"...blackening the night with my stench..."

"...I am secretly unfooled."

"...fuliginous riddling hex..."

"...pale skin of words that closes me in like a coffin."

"...it was my own language, but spoken in a strange way, as if the sounds were made by brittle sticks, dried spindles, flaking bits of shale."

"...brattling birds..."


#85771 11/06/02 01:37 PM
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I admit I'm at a total loss here, great turns-of-phrase aside. Is this a reworking of Beowulf?


#85772 11/07/02 01:50 AM
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Jackie Offline OP
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No, it's the book, Grendel, by John Gardner. Grendel is the narrator. I just enjoy some of the words and turns of phrase he used, and thought you all might like to see some, is all.


#85773 11/07/02 11:29 AM
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Yes but Grendel is a sort of reworking of Beowolf, with the story told from the monster's point of view.
I'm working on a musical version myself. I need help with the title...






#85774 11/07/02 02:00 PM
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I've never heard of the book before... Great idea! And it's not even written in Old English!


#85775 11/07/02 10:50 PM
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Jackie Offline OP
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A musical Beowulf, hmm? Well, Grendel swims up through fire-snakes: what about something with fire-snakes in the title?


#85776 11/08/02 04:29 AM
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I seem to recall a chink, thump, thump, chink (not in Grendel's version, the poor beast). The chiasmus of the old English version does inspire a good beat. It no doubt helped the storytellers.


#85777 11/08/02 02:09 PM
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Jackie Offline OP
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We do seem to have an innate love of rhythmical patterns, don't we? Maybe visually as well as auditorily?


#85778 11/08/02 02:35 PM
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Jackie has an astute sense of drawing others out in conversation. Yes, visually as well as auditorily. I know the blocking actions of actors helps them remember lines...I'm certain the oral poets of lore kept their cadence through movement, and when they had a pulled hamstring, they probably improvised (or is it extemporized?), giving us plenty of variability in form.

How many men and women wrote Homer's greatest works?


#85779 11/09/02 02:00 AM
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Jackie Offline OP
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How many men and women wrote Homer's greatest works? Is this a trick question? I have to say, my favorite poetical rhythm is the old
ta-DA ta-DA ta-DA ta-DUH-UH,
ta-DA ta-DA ta-DA ta-DAH.
What can I say? I'm a stick-in-the-mud. Odd--I never realized this before, but the first ta in each line is definitely the pick-up eighth note in 6/8 time. (I realized that when I tried to figure out why I felt compelled to put that UH in there: to allow for the "missing" beats in the measure, since there's no rest symbol in poems.) Songs in triple time are always favorites of mine, too. No, I'm not crazy--I don't think.
Thanks, Brandon--you do tend to lead my thoughts down new pathways.



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