The fundamental question: Grendel or Darcy? A beginning.

So (to begin as Seamus Heaney does in his translation of Beowulf), we begin in medias res like all good epics. Epic?  Yes, for in our meager days of modernity, coddled as we are, a single lifetime can still feel like an epic, or at least a mock-epic, with gods hurling down ironies instead of thunderbolts. So. I begin midstream, midlife, to speak of many things. Mostly of books and what they have taught me, and also of pictures and how they have moved me, and then, of course, of the lunacy of life and how it requires a good sense of humor to get through it.

In class, I insist everything comes back to Grendel. Indeed, Beowulf and Grendel can explain everything if you look closely enough. But we should add a pinch of Darcy to leaven the mix.


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