Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Someone take that guy's red pencil away!

I have a used copy of a scholarly book, one to which I turn frequently. The prior owner of my copy was an assiduous underliner. Every paragraph on every page has some underlining in it. And while I usually have no objection to other people's marginalia, this guy seems to have had a kind of underlining Tourette's. There is no reason to it. I will reproduce a bit of his handiwork, and ask you to imagine reading a whole book underlined in this way.

As early as the epic Beowulf one detects, however faintly and uncertainly, the specifically Christian function of historical symbol. The hero Beowulf becomes the incarnation of the tribe in its conflict with nature. The final victory of Beowulf over the monster symbolizes the absorption of the cosmic level of myth by the historical.


Lisa B. said...

I have a voice in my head speaking this passage, with special emphasis upon the underlinings, and that voice is making me laugh. I especially love the underline of the word "becomes." Because that's a really subtle thing there, that word. You'd really want to both note and remember that.

Lexy and Jared said...

I had to read that passage twice because the stupid underlinings distracted me so much. Curse the red pencil!