By Gillian R. Overing
No longer a publication approximately what Beowulf capability yet the way it skill, and the way the reader participates within the strategy of which means construction.Overing’s fundamental goal is to deal with the poem by itself phrases, to track and enhance an interpretive technique consonant with the level of its distinction. Beowulf’s arcane constitution describes cyclical repetitions and patterned intersections of subject matters which baffle a linear standpoint, and recommend in its place the irresolution and dynamism of the deconstructionist loose play of textual elements.Chapter 1 posits the self/reader as a functionality of the text/language, reading the ways that the textual content "speaks" the reader. bankruptcy 2 develops an interactive semiotic method in an try and describe an isomorphic relation among poem and reader, among textual content and self. bankruptcy three addresses the notions of textual content and self as extra advanced features or formulations of wish, and hence complicates and expands the arguments of the 2 previous chapters. the ultimate bankruptcy examines the problem of hope within the poem, and, to a lesser volume, wish within the reader (insofar as those may possibly legitimately be considered as particular from every one other).
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Additional info for Language, sign, and gender in Beowulf
The women of Beowulf might not achieve a feminist goal of self-definition as a function and even a celebration of differencea goal that Meese sees as "not so different from what appears to be deconstruction's utopic projection . . to move toward the expression of the inexpressible'' (87)but their stance affirms the potentiality of Derrida's construct in that they continually disturb the binary status quo and deflect desire away from closure, which in Beowulf is so often literal death. In its discussion of gender and interpretation, the final chapter, like the preceding ones, affirms process as the mode of the poem and as a mode of interpretation.
I shall argue that the powerful, visceral engagement that underlies these impressions, while arguably a representation of my own desire as reader, is also a function of language. In this naive preamble, I use terms like "immediacy," "spontaneity," or "visceral" tentatively, in an attempt to conjure the peculiar clarity and force that this ''dead" language possesses. The equally immediate problem with all these responses, however one labels them, is of course that the linguistic vehicle for this poetry is highly conventional and formulaic, patterned to an extent that might preclude the kind of spontaneous engagement with the text that I am claiming is an essential part of the experience of this poetry.
The effect of the poetry is that of a dynamic process of fusion in the mind of the reader of meaning and its representation, of procedure or system, and its end-product. Here I stress the idea of fusion as ongoing process, rather than resolution or crystallization of meaning, and return to the metaphor of weaving described in the introduction, which stresses multifaceted process, continuity, and continual possibility. The structure of the web, which is an especially apt analogue for both the mode of Beowulf and our engagement with the poem, facilitates the play of difference, allowing lines of sense to converge and separate freely.