Edwin Morgan: Dredging the Whale-Roads
This chapter investigates Edwin Morgan's experience of Old English at Glasgow University. It argues that his translation of Beowulf negotiates two opposing theoretical positions, respecting the alterity of Old English while bringing it towards a more familiar contemporary idiom. Morgan's experimentalism with the trope of translatio in its wider sense is related to his futurist sympathies and science-fiction poems. Previous critical emphasis on Morgan as a futurist misrepresents his breadth and complexity, and a view is advanced of Morgan as also a medievalist. His sense of Old English as the root of an incipient Scottish literary tradition leads to a consideration of the linguistic politics of a ‘Scottish Old English’. Translation from Old English into Scots is discussed, not only in the case of Morgan but also Alexander and Tom Scott. Finally, a number of Old English echoes and allusions in Morgan's mature poetry are explicated for the first time.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.