After Beowulf by Nicole Markotic
Welcome to Denmark's Heorot Hall, where King Hrothgar invites to his banquet table everyone but Grendel, Saxon's cradle-made monster. Dissing this ur-outsider initiates a predictable and monstrous backlash, a Mediæval fracas that only the eponymous Beowulf can quash. Sailing across the whaleroads, he arrives to "quell and queltch and quatch the Grendel beast."
Beowulf, that still-recognizable hero, embodies a "blank" function, a motive-driven yet motiveless megastar. He's the young, fit, male, self-sacrificing protagonist-interloper who will fight any monster to protect his people. Or to defend strangers. Or to gain a reputation. Or because he just really wants to…
In her rendering of Beowulf, Nicole Markotić offers a rollicking cover song of a fantastical text. These pages will surprise readers as they introduce new ways to embrace, challenge, or click with Anglo-Saxon heroics. Writing original poems, Markotić de-stories the story of one man, who mostly does not play well with others, who fights monsters (and defeats their mothers, too), and who practically invents the poetic tradition of entitled bravery.
Upending the tale with her fresh and enchanting style, Markotić gives a nod to previous translations, winks at canonical critics, bares historical biases, all while gifting transmogrifying pages that will whet your whimsy! (From Coach House Books)
Nicole Markotic is a poet and novelist who teaches at the University of Windsor. Her other books include the poetry collections Bent at the Spine, Minotaurs & Other Alphabets and Connect the Dots and the novels Yellow Pages and Scrapbook of My Years as a Zealot.