Norse Gods
#1
I find the Norse gods to be a fascinating subject. I've done a tad bit of delving over the years (thank you, Marvel, for sparking that particular love), and I have found that, when it comes to writing, they can be quite talkative! I have books in the works that feature various Norse gods because of that, and, yes, Loki likes to pop up in almost everything I write. He's certainly his own muse!
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#2
Norse mythology was one of my favorite subjects when growing up. Not sure what drew me to it. I remember reading "Beowulf" on a filmstrip book when I was in the 4th grade. I am pretty sure there was also a filmstrip book about Thor's adventure in Jotunheim. Although "Beowulf" is not a Norse story (and I did not know this at the time), it comes from the same northern culture as the Norse myths. The Norse myths were mostly preserved in Icelandic literature but we have found many remnants of ancient dedications to the Norse deities across Europe. They and their Germanic cousins carried their beliefs far and wide.

The sense of adventure in the old stories may be what kept them alive for so long. Like "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey", the stories were entertaining and more exciting than mere mundane adventures. They were larger than life stories.

For that reason I think they'll continue to be a source of inspiration for story-telling for many generations to come.
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#3
I've come to understand that "Beowulf" is of Norse origin. There are definitely some strong ties to the culture at least, as you've noted. I'm just thinking of the animated feature they did where Anthony Hopkins voiced the king who sent for warriors to slay Grendel. They reference Odin. Even one of the older poem pieces I've found makes a reference to Odin. I know "Beowulf" gets credited as being a piece of English literature as they were the first ones to actually record it.
Confusedhades:
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#4
I'm not sure the scholars would quite agree with "Norse", although I haven't read recent literature. "Beowulf" dates from a time when the northern peoples (Scandinavians and Germans) spoke dialects of the same Germanic language, not separate languages. There was a phonetic shift that occurred (if memory serves me) sometime in the 600s-700s, and that resulted in the Scandinavian languages breaking off from the Germanic languages. They then came back to influence English, helping to pull it away from other Germanic languages (although English is still considered a Germanic language).

So, allowing for the possibility that current linguistic theory has changed since I last reviewed it, I would say (on the basis of my somewhat dated knowledge) that "Beowulf" is a Northern European composition, dating from a time when there was essentially one "common" language in the northern world. There are a few other poems (much shorter) from the same period that, like "Beowulf", would have been heard in the same form and language in Angle-land, Dane-land, Scandia, etc. Two names that come to mind are "Widsith" and "The Wanderer" but there are a few others.
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#5
Yep, I've just always considered it to be an Old English poem/epic, based on myths and folk tales from earlier Nordic/northern European traditions. So like if I wrote my own version of Pinocchio, and retained all the Italian names and settings and references, kept the same plotline, but wrote it in contemporary American English - it would seem like a new American story, but also an old Italian one.
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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#6
(July 18th, 2019, 01:42 AM)Michael Wrote: I'm not sure the scholars would quite agree with "Norse", although I haven't read recent literature. "Beowulf" dates from a time when the northern peoples (Scandinavians and Germans) spoke dialects of the same Germanic language, not separate languages. There was a phonetic shift that occurred (if memory serves me) sometime in the 600s-700s, and that resulted in the Scandinavian languages breaking off from the Germanic languages. They then came back to influence English, helping to pull it away from other Germanic languages (although English is still considered a Germanic language).

So, allowing for the possibility that current linguistic theory has changed since I last reviewed it, I would say (on the basis of my somewhat dated knowledge) that "Beowulf" is a Northern European composition, dating from a time when there was essentially one "common" language in the northern world. There are a few other poems (much shorter) from the same period that, like "Beowulf", would have been heard in the same form and language in Angle-land, Dane-land, Scandia, etc. Two names that come to mind are "Widsith" and "The Wanderer" but there are a few others.

I'm not sure when that particular feature was released, the one with Anthony Hopkins lending his voice. I'm simply going by a movie and something else that I prefer to keep to myself.

Beowulf does make for an interesting discussion, to be sure.

(July 18th, 2019, 01:34 PM)august Wrote: Yep, I've just always considered it to be an Old English poem/epic, based on myths and folk tales from earlier Nordic/northern European traditions.  So like if I wrote my own version of Pinocchio, and retailed all the Italian names and settings and references, kept the same plotline, but wrote it in contemporary American English - it would seem like a new American story, but also an old Italian one.

If you did that, that would be so awesome. Big Grin
Confusedhades:
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#7
Interestingly, I haven't, but I've seen some people who did!
August - Jack's Pack Fan # 1, Keeper of the List, 3-Time Speaker of the JoAT Fan Quote of the Week, and the only person ever to have Back 2 Back Jack and Cleo fan quotes !
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