Il “Beowulf” nel Novecento: il fumetto e il romanzo
Beowulf, as a character and as a story, lives fortunate days. Two films and a dramahave come or are about to come out between this year and the next. Beowulf’sreception in the Twentieth century is not as rich as Ulysses’ reception, for example,but there are several works that rewrite the Old English story. Two of them aretaken into account in the article: the Italian comic Beowulf. Leggenda cristianadell’antica Danimarca (1940/1941) by Enrico Basari, and the American novel Grendel (1971) by John Gardner. Two quite different works: on the one hand agraphic novel created under a strong Catholic ideology during the Fascist (and theSecond World War) period of Italian history, on the other hand a novel written inthe so-called Postmodern area, showing a radical deconstruction of internalideologies and identity narrations. However the two works can be joined in acomparative view, because they both have clear bonds with the ages in which theywere written, they both are deep-rooted in the cultural ground that has producedthem. From the analysis of the contemporary rewritings we can understand if theold story and its characters are still living and productive, and we can learnsomething more about the medieval poem.