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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tolkien on Beowulf

Nearly all the censure, and most of the praise, that has been bestowed on
The Beowulf has been due either to the belief that it was something that it was
not--for example, primitive, pagan, Teutonic, an allegory (political or mythical), or most often, an epic; or to disappointment at the discovery that it was itself and not something that the scholar would have liked better--for example, a heathen heroic lay, a history of Sweden, a manual of Germanic antiquities, or a Nordic Summa Theologica.

1 comment:

Vance Maverick said...

This is a strong move in general rhetoric -- in academic rhetoric, he'll be expected to substantiate it pretty thoroughly.