Strange Likeness:The Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry: The Use of Old English in Twentieth-Century Poetry

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OUP Oxford, Sep 7, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 276 pages
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Strange Likeness provides the first full account of how Old English (or Anglo-Saxon) was rediscovered by twentieth-century poets, and the uses to which they put that discovery in their own writing. Chapters deal with Ezra Pound, W. H. Auden, Edwin Morgan, and Seamus Heaney. Stylistic debts to Old English are examined, along with the effects on these poets' work of specific ideas about Old English language and literature as taught while these poets were studying the subjectat university. Issues such as linguistic primitivism, the supposed 'purity' of the English language, the politics and ethics of translation, and the construction of 'Englishness' within the literary canon are discussed in the light of these poets and their Old English encounters. Heaney's translation ofBeowulf is fully contextualized within the body of the rest of his work for the first time.

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About the author (2006)

Chris Jones was born in Wales and studies at King's College London and Queen's University of Belfast. He has taught in Rome and Berlin, and is now lecturer in poetry at the University of St Andrews.

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