Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Klavan on a Classic

Could a 1000-year-old poem be the oldest (Old) English language thriller? So contends author Andrew Klavan in a brief and insightful essay on the heroic epic BEOWULF, "a brooding, blood-soaked celebration of warrior manhood."
"It may not be a thriller in the modern sense of the word, but it holds the kernel of the idea that gives our genre one of its key reasons for being. In modern fiction, only genre novels—crime, horror, fantasy, sci-fi—regularly dramatize the existence of evil, the need for courage, and the glamour of physical strength and fighting skill. It’s an essential and too often neglected role of the arts to portray these things. If they don’t, it becomes too easy for us to forget them, too easy for us to be self-satisfied with our lives of compassion and peaceful loving kindness without paying tribute to the warriors who make those lives possible."

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