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Beth in SW WA

Sir Gawain & The Green Knight -- input needed please...

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I'm embarrassed to say that I'm having a tough time navigating this little tale. I'll need to use an online resource to help w/ my discussions. Does anyone have experience w/ any of these sources? The kids are 11 & 13, fyi. We are doing TWTM logic stage Middle Ages reading list.

 

Its days like this that I regret my kids not having an adequate literature teacher (wiping tears...:sad:). I'm in way over my head on these medieval tales.

 

Thanks in advance for any input.

 

Cliffsnotes:

 

http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/LitNote/Sir-Gawain-and-the-Green-Knight.id-173.html

 

Enotes:

 

http://www.enotes.com/sir-gawain

 

YahooEducation:

http://education.yahoo.com/homework_help/cliffsnotes/sir_gawain_and_the_green_knight/

 

Sparknotes:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gawain/

 

Gradesaver:

http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/gawain/themes.html

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Beth,

 

Gawain is a weird tale, so your trial here is not unique.

 

What helped us immeasurably with medieval literature was the portion of the Teaching Company Great Authors of the Western Literary Tradition by Thomas Noble. This is a massive and expensive series of lectures, but fortunately our library had them. How about yours?

 

My son loved Inferno, several of the Chaucer tales, the Maginogion--I think he would have died if I had assigned The Romance of the Rose!

 

I am confident that you are doing a better job than you think.

 

Best,

Jane

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I agree with Jane that you're*doing a better job than you think! I haven't read Sir Gawain yet. I have used enotes (the expanded version you pay for) once in the past and thought they were worthwhile. I use The Center For Learnings units often. Here is the link to Sir Gawain: http://www.centerforlearning.org/ViewProductDetails-371-571-42.html

but they are geared towards a classroom. I teach a lit class so this works for me. Most could be done at home though.

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This audio version (read by Terry Jones) of the translation by JRR Tolkien also includes JRR Tolkien's background essay on Sir Gawain & the Green Knight:

http://www.amazon.com/Sir-Gawain-Green-Knight-Tolkien/dp/0198114869

 

 

The links below are all to free online articles, guides, or analyses of SG&GK. Hope something here will be of help, Beth! I was hoping Seattle Pacific might have a lecture podcast on it, but if they do, I didn't see it. : ( Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

 

Wikipedia (free online encyclopedia -- article on SG&GK:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_Gawain_and_the_Green_Knight

 

 

Essays on Sir Gawain & the Green Knight:

http://www.sirgawain.com/about.html

 

 

 

notes from Arnie Sanders' Goucher College Medival Literature course, specificall on the source, structure and themes in SG&GK:

http://faculty.goucher.edu/eng240/sir_gawain_and_the_green_knight.htm

 

 

 

Grade Saver (free online study guides) -- on SG&GK:

http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/gawain/themes.html

 

 

Sparknotes (free online study guides) -- themes, symbols & motifs in SG&GK:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gawain/themes.html

 

 

Enotes (online study guide) -- plot and major characters, major themes in SG&GK:

http://www.enotes.com/classical-medieval-criticism/sir-gawain-green-knight

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They helped me get my ds through high school. Do you have specific questions about the resources or just need reassurance that you aren't the only one?

 

I think we did Sir Gawain with the LL British Med. but maybe it was one I just randomly assigned him. We used the Tolkien translation and I remember it had a good discussion also.

 

If you want, here is my son's summary of it.

 

I was often found the night before introducing new works of literature cramming online and searching for good writing assignments. I have even been known to use suggested essay topics from spark notes and pinkmonkey.

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You might want to borrow How to Read Literature Like a Professor from the library--it's light and funny and sprinkles lots of tips. He has a pretty good section on Sir Gawain and compares it to some modern movies.

Danielle

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Hi gang,

I read the book last night and I think I understand the gist of it. Thankfully I have the section from LLLOTR which discusses Arthurian legends and Sir Gawain, specifically. What a wild little tale!

 

I'm going to use a combo of the resources you all have shared.

 

I was feeling terrible yesterday about my abilities to hs these kids. I don't want to short-change them! I'm a far cry from Dr. Bridwell at Bremerton Christian School (my English teacher from high school who later co-founded TPS). I know I can't give my kids what she gave me. Lit was her passion! She studied it for years and years.

 

I wish I kept up my reading over the last 20 years and didn't succumb to mental atrophy. Had I known 10 years ago I would be hs'ing w/ high school level literature, I would have turned the TV off and put the twaddle aside.

 

Does anyone else feel this way??

 

Anyway, thank you for your advice and encouragement. I will press on!

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Hi gang,

 

I wish I kept up my reading over the last 20 years and didn't succumb to mental atrophy. Had I known 10 years ago I would be hs'ing w/ high school level literature, I would have turned the TV off and put the twaddle aside.

 

Does anyone else feel this way??

 

 

I agree. I try to tell the new homeschooling moms with the kinder kids that they should take the time now to read through the books they want to cover in highschool. It will be so much easier to go over this stuff with your teen if you have seen it more recently than your own highschool lit. class.

 

I'm glad I read books with my ds so we could discuss them, but my girls are going to get the real benefit from my having read them over the past few years.

 

I know I need to be better prepared next time high school comes around.

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Hi gang,

I read the book last night and I think I understand the gist of it. Thankfully I have the section from LLLOTR which discusses Arthurian legends and Sir Gawain, specifically. What a wild little tale!

 

I'm going to use a combo of the resources you all have shared.

 

I was feeling terrible yesterday about my abilities to hs these kids. I don't want to short-change them! I'm a far cry from Dr. Bridwell at Bremerton Christian School (my English teacher from high school who later co-founded TPS). I know I can't give my kids what she gave me. Lit was her passion! She studied it for years and years.

 

I wish I kept up my reading over the last 20 years and didn't succumb to mental atrophy. Had I known 10 years ago I would be hs'ing w/ high school level literature, I would have turned the TV off and put the twaddle aside.

 

Does anyone else feel this way??

 

Anyway, thank you for your advice and encouragement. I will press on!

 

I definitely feel this way. While I'm thankful for what I did read, it wasn't nearly enough. The only thing that saves me now is that I do have time to read a little ahead of dd, since I don't have very many kids or outside responsibilities.

 

But oh, how I could have used the time they were little so much more wisely. I read all manner of fluff, only squeezing in a good book every now and then. And having the discipline to do it is, of course, the biggest hurdle.

 

Hallelujah for Spark Notes - that really helped me with Sir Gawain. I guess it's a sad commentary that even though I am reading along with dd, I still don't completely get it. I need a cheat sheet.

 

Here's to keepin' on.

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I DID keep up my reading for (ahem!) more than 20 years, but it turns out it wasn't the RIGHT reading. I can run through an awful lot of 19th and 20th century lit, including all sorts of world lit, but nothing before!

 

All this other stuff just blew by me. However, one of the things I find comforting in How to Read Lit Like a Professor is that HE comments that there's always something new he hasn't read that "everyone" else has read, and he's a lit professor, for gosh sakes.

 

I'm 55 and I have read at least a book a week for about 40 years now (book a day in grad school) and I'm still "way behind". Sometimes I think that a gentle little white collar crime that would send me to a cushy federal pen would be the only way to get through the stack by my bed :001_smile:

Danielle

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Well, yes and no. Some of what we're reading in high school now I did read back in high school/college, but -- a lot of it is new, too. I try to pre-read during the summer and during the school year in advance just so I'm familiar with characters/plot line, but I don't always have time for that. Most of our literature we read a lot aloud together -- so we discuss/learn together which has been an absolutely fabulous experience! My boys bring out ideas I never would have seen, so it's mutual learning rather than me having always pre-read and giving a discourse. : ) Just our experience. Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I think we did Sir Gawain with the LL British Med. but maybe it was one I just randomly assigned him. We used the Tolkien translation and I remember it had a good discussion also.

 

If you want, here is my son's summary of it.

 

 

 

Karen,

 

I enjoyed your son's poetic summary! Kudos to him.

 

And I enjoyed browsing around your site, too.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Thank you all for the insight. I will be so much more prepared when dd 4 & 5 hit the high school level material.

 

Thankfully we have a wonderful assortment of online classes and curricula to choose from to help navigate these pieces. And a group of fine folks here to add feedback & support. But that still doesn't make up for mom not having her you-know-what together :)

 

 

For fun, does anyone want to discuss the theme of GREEN in the book?

 

How about the beheading imagery? What did the beheading represent? Power? Pride?

 

Is Sir Gawain a Christ-figure by taking the place of Arthur in the beheading game?

 

How about the seduction of Sir Gawain? I was not expecting that! I bet that knocked their medieval socks off!

 

What's with the trickery? Why tempt Sir Gawain? For what purpose?

 

Is the "kiss" symbolic of the kiss of Judas?

 

I'm probably just grasping at straws...

 

I'm so confused!! Dh, the kids & I have been chatting about this around here for the last couple days. The kids haven't been exposed to enough literary devices and they think I'm crazy for assuming any of these details are supposed to really "mean" something. I have a long way to go w/ them!!

 

Any takers? Thanks!!

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We had a good time with the three days of hunting.

A. King hunts for a stag - Gawain stays home and acts like one - he runs!

B. King brings down a boar who stands and resists - as does Gawain at home.

C. King bags a fox - a creature of deception. Hmmm... sounds like the dude with a secret to hide! :D

My ds loved this. "You know Mom, I always wondered why they DRAG out stuff like this. I always think, 'Sheesh. More hunting. When are they going to be done with this?'" The power of threes. A neat topic to discuss.

 

We also had fun listening to lectures about the 100 Years War and the rise of French & English nationalism. Remember that the English really WERE the French in 1066. So those clear lines start to develop.

 

The contrasts to French stories of chivalry were fun to explore.

 

Tolkien's influence that brought this poem into the canon. And the fire... and the idea that it might have so easily been lost.... AND the way Chaucer dubbed himself the Father of English lit - as if it didn't "exist" prior to his work... and lots of fun rabbit trails.

 

And the alliteration - and the bob and wheel! What fun. I have Borroff's translation. Wow! Just try to do this with ANY content. And then realize that she had to confine herself to a translation. Impressive! Neat stuff:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_and_wheel

 

I'm glad that you are enjoying the poem. We did too.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

P.S. Agreeing here that the Teaching Company Great Authors series is AWESOME! Wouldn't want to teach the great books without it. I am also REALLY enjoying The Western Literary Canon. I am a lover of TC courses. But these two sets are the most useful when I need a leg-up with great books lit study.

 

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=2100

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=2120

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I wonder if a number of these questions would be answered by understanding of the Celtic culture which was in process of being replaced by Christianity at the time of the real Arthur. In traditional Arthurian stories, King Arthur represents the spiritual crossroads of Britain -- the last king born out of Celtic culture/traditions (Arthur's conception coming from druidic Merlin's magical help), but also the first king who turns the nation toward Christianity (quest for the Holy Grail), and attempts to establish God's Kingdom on earth (the founding of, but ultimate failure of, Camelot).

 

Perhaps the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (written several hundred years after the ascendancy of Christianity over Celtic/Druidic practices) was a story of allegory or spiritual tale to reaffirm the nation's spiritual commitment, or to explain Britain's spiritual choice and the temptation to it???

 

 

 

For fun, does anyone want to discuss the theme of GREEN in the book?

 

 

 

How about green as a symbol of nature, and the force of nature within Celtic beliefs? Celtic religious rites all occured outdoors in nature, in sacred groves, by sacred trees, or votive wells; many of the gods/goddesses were spiritual places in nature, or natural places, such as specific hilltops, wells, or lakes. And there were Celtic sacrifices of man to ensure the renewing of nature in the form of fertile crops and lifestock. Celts also used the entrails of human sacrifices for augury (fortunetelling) purposes. Some of the bog bodies of Ireland and northern Britain are believed to have been sacrifices. The Celtic king was believed to have been ceremonially married to the earth goddess, and if he failed to "be fertile/produce" (i.e., prosperity and protection of the people) he was sacrificed back to the earth goddess by having his throat slit and his blood poured onto the earth.

 

And while I do NOT personally recommend or support the following book (as it goes on to explain how to do pagan Celtic religious practices today) the following quote is helpful:

 

 

"The origin of the Celtic reverence for nature lies in the ancient belief that nature is divine. The Earth Goddess, who appeared in the Celtic world as many different goddesses connected with the land, was considered in ancient times to be the source of sovereignty (freedom, liberty, and the authority to self-govern). The "sovereignty of the land" is, therefore, a central concept both for understanding the mind of the ancient Celts...

 

Irish mythology recounts that, in ancient times, the high king of Ireland did not receive his office through inheritance, but was chosen, usually through one or more methods of divination or magical knowledge... once the king was chosen, he inaugurated his reign through a ceremonial "sacred marriage" with the Goddess herself. It was only through marrying her that he could take on the authority of kingship... Furthermore, once a king assumed power, the people expected his rule to result in abundance and prosperity..."

 

-- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom by Carl McColman

 

 

 

How about the beheading imagery? What did the beheading represent? Power? Pride? Is Sir Gawain a Christ-figure by taking the place of Arthur in the beheading game?

 

 

Here's a fascinating quote from Thinkquest website on Celtic beliefs, specifically those related to the head, which might shed light on the beheading imagery:

 

"Head-Related Beliefs - Some Celts were headhunters, who kept the heads of fallen enemies as treasures. Not even the weight of the head in gold would suffice to take it from the family. The monument in Roquepertuse had doorways of stone, adorned with the skulls of humans. Skullbones were used to make amulets, many of which have been found on Ancient Celtic sites. The Celts thought that a person's soul was contained in their head. Therefore, to possess someone's head was to possess that person's soul."

-- http://library.thinkquest.org/C0116903/spirit/beliefs.htm

 

 

And this quote from a Wikipedia article on Celts:

"Celts had a reputation as head hunters. According to Paul Jacobsthal, "Amongst the Celts the human head was venerated above all else, since the head was to the Celt the soul, centre of the emotions as well as of life itself, a symbol of divinity and of the powers of the other-world."[Paul Jacobsthal, "Early Celtic Art"] Arguments for a Celtic cult of the severed head include the many sculptured representations of severed heads in La Tène carvings, and the surviving Celtic mythology, which is full of stories of the severed heads of heroes and the saints who carry their decapitated heads, right down to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where the Green Knight picks up his own severed head after Gawain has struck it off..."

 

 

I like your idea of Gawain as a Christ-like stand-in for Arthur. :001_smile: Also, considering the above information about a king wedded to the Celtic earth goddess, perhaps what we're seeing here in SG&GK is a completely Christian knight with no Celtic background spiritually able to stand in place of the king and spiritually/symbolically able to withstand -- and break -- the power of the old Celtic tradition of beheading the king wedded to the Celtic earth goddess.

 

 

 

How about the seduction of Sir Gawain? I was not expecting that! I bet that knocked their medieval socks off!

What's with the trickery? Why tempt Sir Gawain? For what purpose?

Is the "kiss" symbolic of the kiss of Judas?

 

 

Actually, I think the medieval mind was much more open and realistic about sexuality than, say, the Victorian mind. And in medieval times, a temptation to chastity was actually a very common way of very tangibly symbolizing *all* temptations to sin as a temptation to fall from fidelity to God. As a possible Christian allegory, the trickery and temptation could be a symbol of the "siren lure" of pagan spirituality of the old Celtic ways not only of Sir Gawain specifically, but of the newly Christian Britain to fall from faith in Christ. No ideas here on the kiss. :confused:

 

 

So there's my shot at it. Ball's in your court now, Beth! (lol!) Warmest regards, Lori D.

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Yes, *I* might learn more with multiple readings, but doing it first-time round together is working fine. We read it aloud together, too, and because it is fresh and new to me, my sons have to do their fair share of the work and know, absolutely know, that their contributions to the discussions are important and valid. This is more of an equal group endeavor rather than a teacher student thing.

-Nan

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So there's my shot at it. Ball's in your court now, Beth! (lol!) Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Lori,

You are awesome! This is so fun! I know nothing about Celtic history so this is a treat to get the inside scoop from you.

 

You offer great insight. I'm printing your post and will be sharing it w/ my kiddos (lucky them :)). Janice's post also. Great stuff.

 

I know you're going to dream about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight tonight and you'll wake up w/ more goodies to share.

I've got a few questions that I am pondering:

 

Why is temptation invading their pure/holy Christmas celebration?

 

Why was the Green Knight barefoot?

 

Why was he taunting/shaming Arthur in front of his knights/guests?

 

Did the GK know that SG would step forward as the sacrifice?

 

Why holly in one hand/battle axe in the other?

 

I'm thinking Morgan LeFay is a representation of evil. Does she have it in for SG from another Arthurian tale?

 

Also the five seems to be a common thread. 5 wits, pentangle, SG faithful in 5 points

 

The crock crowed thrice (symbolic of Peter's denial?)

 

Why is he called Wawain & Gawain?

 

I haven't even looked through the links. I'm sure they will answer many questions.

 

Thanks gang. I guess I'll treat this lit study as a game, then its not so intimidating. :)

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We had a good time with the three days of hunting.

A. King hunts for a stag - Gawain stays home and acts like one - he runs!

B. King brings down a boar who stands and resists - as does Gawain at home.

C. King bags a fox - a creature of deception. Hmmm... sounds like the dude with a secret to hide! :D

I never thought of that. Great irony.

 

 

And the alliteration - and the bob and wheel! What fun. I have Borroff's translation. Wow! Just try to do this with ANY content. And then realize that she had to confine herself to a translation. Impressive! Neat stuff:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_and_wheel

 

I never would have known to look at bob & wheel. Thanks for the link!

 

I'm glad that you are enjoying the poem. We did too.

 

My son's ears perked up when I told him about the love triangle/seduction/temptation. As if the head-chopping would not be appealing enough. Either way, he's into it.

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

P.S. Agreeing here that the Teaching Company Great Authors series is AWESOME! Wouldn't want to teach the great books without it. I am also REALLY enjoying The Western Literary Canon. I am a lover of TC courses. But these two sets are the most useful when I need a leg-up with great books lit study.

 

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=2100

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/CourseDescLong2.aspx?cid=2120

Thanks! I'll look for these at the library!

 

 

Keep it comin' Janice :)

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Sometimes I think that a gentle little white collar crime that would send me to a cushy federal pen would be the only way to get through the stack by my bed :001_smile:

Danielle

 

So true! Somethin's gotta give. Around here its laundry! If only I could read AND do laundry! I've tried audio books but I really need to hold a book in hand and follow along.

 

Hs'ing is what brought me back into the classics. The gang here has spurred me on. I've got a lot of catching up to do! I haven't watched fluff TV in months. I'm in trouble when Lost & 24 come back! I. Must. Resist. :)

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I didn't think I could make my way through the Tolkien version of Sir Gawain--It seemed so hard. I then found the Burtan Raffel edition. I read straight though it and absolutely loved it! I did keep my electronic dictionary at my side, but once I got accustomed to his vocabulary, it was not a hard read at all.

 

I find that as we've read through a lot of the older literature, the version can make or break the book. I own multiple copies of many great books--each time I find one that is easier to understand, it gets added to my collection. I'm still looking for a better translation of the Aeneid...and a few others. I read Beowulf this year--NOT the Heany (sp?) translation...and found it wonderful! I find the translation is the biggest key to loving the old lit.

 

HTH,

Jean

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Hi Jean!

 

Side thought on the Aeneid: You probably already know about this one. But just in case.... :001_smile:

 

Our favorite Aeneid was translated by Robert Fagles. The audio book tipped us in that direction, but the translation itself won me over. (I think that the big three: Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid work BEST in audiobook format. I give my kids a copy of the book to follow along and I hand them a PEN and require them to write SOME comment at least every other page in order to make sure that they don't fall asleep. So far it's been a formula for success. All three texts have received a thumbs-up around here.)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Aeneid-Virgil/dp/0143059025/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226498019&sr=8-3

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

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Hi Jean!

 

Side thought on the Aeneid: You probably already know about this one. But just in case.... :001_smile:

 

Our favorite Aeneid was translated by Robert Fagles. The audio book tipped us in that direction, but the translation itself won me over. (I think that the big three: Iliad, Odyssey, and Aeneid work BEST in audiobook format. I give my kids a copy of the book to follow along and I hand them a PEN and require them to write SOME comment at least every other page in order to make sure that they don't fall asleep. So far it's been a formula for success. All three texts have received a thumbs-up around here.)

 

http://www.amazon.com/Aeneid-Virgil/dp/0143059025/ref=pd_bbs_sr_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226498019&sr=8-3

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

 

Thank you. I'm thinking of getting an iPod for books. Maybe I'll try this :)

J

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Of Course!

I so appreciate these boards for this. But it would be nice to wander across the street with my coffee and hang out in your kitchens to chat face-to-face! :001_smile:

 

Janice

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And I LOVE company in my kitchen to chat with while I bake cookies or scones to go with your coffee! [And I'm pretty decent baker : )]

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And I love to eat cookies. I can make them, too, but it more fun to eat other people's. Lori - I always like reading your posts. Now all we need is a transporter.

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And I love to eat cookies. I can make them, too, but it more fun to eat other people's. Lori - I always like reading your posts. Now all we need is a transporter.

 

 

I always love your posts, too, Nan. I often picture your boys and mine in literature discussion -- heavily peppered with examples from Star Trek series and various action or super hero films. (lol)

 

Okay, you have the engineering-oriented family, Nan, so once you get that transporter on line, I'll be on your doorstep with a plate of warm cookies. What do you like: chocolate chip? oatmeal/raisin? spice cookie? gingerbread?? black forest (dark chocolate and dried cherries)?? Janice is in charge of the coffee! :tongue_smilie:

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Chocolate chip. Black forest sounds good, too. I've never had any of those. And didn't they actually manage to do something like transport an atom recently? I'm off to ask my youngest if he remembers. And have you heard? My middle one just got into Starfleet Academy (or something close enough that we are now wondering whether the no-tv-but-you-can-watch-these-startrek-dvd's idea was such a good one. : )

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Oh - and can Janice bring tea for me? Coffee (unless it is icecream) doesn't agree with me. I love tea, though. - Nan, getting to work on that transporter

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Oh - and can Janice bring tea for me? Coffee (unless it is icecream) doesn't agree with me. I love tea, though. - Nan, getting to work on that transporter

 

Jealous. That is what I would be if you beamed up without me.

 

Jane

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..... I read Beowulf this year--NOT the Heany (sp?) translation...and found it wonderful! I find the translation is the biggest key to loving the old lit.

 

HTH,

Jean

 

OK, which translation was it???????

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OK, which translation was it???????

 

Jean, Oh, Jean...

 

Bumping this because I want to know also. We are reading the abridged version per TWTM logic stage next week. I own the Heany translation also but it looks tough! We start the real Beowulf after Thanksgiving (I'm nervous).

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Beth, we read the Heaney translation at the start of the year (I read it aloud), and since Heaney is a poet, it had a very rhythmic and alliterative quality to it that made the work very accessible -- at least none of us here had any real troubles with it. Beowulf seemed to fit in (thematically and writing style) very well this year for us -- between last year's LLftLotR, and then the next work we read all together, Macbeth!

 

PS -- still thinking on your second round of SG&GK questions -- so far, I could only come up with holly as a symbol used by the Celts/druids. : )

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Beth, we read the Heaney translation at the start of the year (I read it aloud), and since Heaney is a poet, it had a very rhythmic and alliterative quality to it that made the work very accessible -- at least none of us here had any real troubles with it. Beowulf seemed to fit in (thematically and writing style) very well this year for us -- between last year's LLftLotR, and then the next work we read all together, Macbeth!

 

PS -- still thinking on your second round of SG&GK questions -- so far, I could only come up with holly as a symbol used by the Celts/druids. : )

 

I read Heaney aloud to my son when he was in 5th grade, I think. This was after we had read the Sutcliffe version of the story so he was familiar with character names. I agree with Lori that the lyric quality of the Heaney translation is captivating and accessible. Interestingly, as I read the right hand pages of the book, my son often followed along on the left, reading the old English.

 

So there is no reason to be nervous, Beth.

 

By the way, the audio version that Heaney reads of his translation is worth borrowing from your library. But one word of caution: the Heaney audio version we borrowed was missing the long recitations from the celebratory banquets. I don't know if every Heaney audio version is abridged or not. For those who love all of the pageantry of the middle ages, this is an obvious defect. (To be clear: this material is in the book.)

 

Best,

Jane

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Beth,

 

We used the abridged audio too - just followed along in the book; we just read the extra bits on our own.

 

This illustrated version is particularly nice. No old English on the left - just a terrific color picture. Worked for oldest ds. Spoon full of sugar and all that. Once we got into the groove of the poem, we could have taken the training wheels off, but we enjoyed Seamus - nice voice - he sounds all Beowulfish. :001_smile:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Illustrated-John-D-Niles/dp/0393330109/ref=pd_bbs_sr_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226787259&sr=8-7

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Just like Sir Gawain - we had some great conversation. Good stuff! Not to be missed. :001_smile:

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http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Illustrated-John-D-Niles/dp/0393330109/ref=pd_bbs_sr_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226787259&sr=8-7

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Just like Sir Gawain - we had some great conversation. Good stuff! Not to be missed. :001_smile:

 

Yes, Seamus is dreamy. I have the audio already. I just ordered the illustrated book from Amazon. My kids will enjoy it, I hope. Thanks for the link!

 

Any lead on a dvd version of Sir Gawain? Thanks!

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Beth,

 

We used the abridged audio too - just followed along in the book; we just read the extra bits on our own.

 

This illustrated version is particularly nice. No old English on the left - just a terrific color picture. Worked for oldest ds. Spoon full of sugar and all that. Once we got into the groove of the poem, we could have taken the training wheels off, but we enjoyed Seamus - nice voice - he sounds all Beowulfish. :001_smile:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Illustrated-John-D-Niles/dp/0393330109/ref=pd_bbs_sr_7?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1226787259&sr=8-7

 

Peace,

Janice

 

Just like Sir Gawain - we had some great conversation. Good stuff! Not to be missed. :001_smile:

 

UPDATE:

 

We love the illustrated Beowulf! Thanks, Janice! My son is totally digging this genre. Who says classical literature isn't cool? :)

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I used the Norton Anthology's World Masterpieces--which contained the Burton Raffel edition. NA had footnotes and I don't know if they are in the normal Raffel edition or not, but whether or not, it would have been a lot easier to read than the Heaney (sp?) edition.

 

You can look at it here:

http://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Signet-Classics/dp/0451527402/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227333532&sr=1-1

 

Next time you have to pm me when I don't answer. I'd unsubscribed from this thread and I don't read the boards regularly anymore :(.

 

Jean :)) HTH

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