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Fugazi and Beowulf

April 29, 2005 ・ Blog

I read Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf recently and thought it was absolutely amazing. I actually bought it at least a year ago in a fit of pique on a visit to Sutton Hoo and predictably never got around to reading it for fear of unpenetrable verse. But my fears were totally allayed because it read incandescently fresh. And it’s one of those great elemental, basic, essential stories.

Anyway, on listening to a bit of Fugazi on the train home tonight I feel that should I ever film Beowulf (just imagine that! Hey, it’s not such an outlandish idea anyway, as films and TV are surely the modern equivalent of the travelling bard) I would use Fugazi’s Arpeggiator off End Hits at top volume throughout the scene of the celebration at killing Grendel. Apart from being a brilliantly rip-roaring song, that baseline seems to encapsulate Beowulf’s themes of inevitable rise and fall, birth and death, glory and lament.

Just thought I’d say.