This is the horrible Grendel, third cousin of Cain, once removed, the awful monster that eats Vikings as they sleep. But not the Grendel of Beowulf. It is the revisionist Grendel of John Gardner's retelling. In Gardner's version, sure, admittedly Grendel does eat people, but he is also fascinated by them and the things they make. He is particularly interested in the Shaper, the Viking harpist, and the songs he sings.
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Image (c) 2001 Frank Wu
COMMENTS. Some of these are from the Elfwood art gallery, where this work is posted.
From Brian Keith Cooke, (Click here to visit!) 12/6/98:
I started laughing as soon as I saw this...I'm not familiar with the author in question, but after this I might take a look at his work. Just the thought of Grendel, not as a monster per-se, but as a creature that is just having a snack stikes me as terribly funny;)
From LitaSalrJ 12/14/98:
This is so excellent! I have read the Gardener version and I think your drawing personifies the Grendel in the book so well! Keep up the great work!!!
From wolf13 1/29/99:
Wow. Grendel almost looks like he'd be a cute pet. He has an air of curiosity about him. Great job though.
From John Teall, (Click here to visit!) 6/5/99:
i can well imagine a goodly number of celts who would have figured anything that eats vikings can't be all bad... (and things that sneak up from behind - i almost missed the semi-spoonerism semi-pun in the title of a neighboring piece - must be getting close to my nap time...)
From Melissa 9/8/99:
Hi. I really like this picture. We are studing Anglo-Saxon in our English 4 Honors class in high school. I had to draw a Grendel picture to show our picture of what he looks like in our minds. Thanks so much.
From Malebolgia 10/27/99:
What's with the nose???!
From Johnny Chaos 12/27/99:
Great art...but it doesn't look like the grendel I had pictured. Looks too curious, too childish, a little "too" big. So...no on the form, but a big yes on the artistic talent.
From Squib is a flower 4/24/01:
The Grendel myth is cool because it's so easy to speculate on G's motivation as a person. This Grendel must ahve spent a little time moussing his hair. It ahs the consistency of a water mammal's. Muskrat or beaver.