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    City of the living dead: the Old English Andreas as urban horror narrative

    Bintley, Mike (2013) City of the living dead: the Old English Andreas as urban horror narrative. Horror Studies 4 (1), pp. 3-20. ISSN 2040-3275.

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    Wild and unforgiving natural landscapes are well known to be the haunts of monsters in Old English poetry, even by those who have not read much Anglo-Saxon literature. Less well known is the urban landscape of the Vercelli Book’s Andreas, in which a crumbling city, carved in stone, plays host to the Satan-worshipping cannibal Mermedonians. This article argues that the Andreas poet, who drew on the monsters of Beowulf and their ilk when he translated his Latin narrative into English, also made significant use of poetic descriptions of urban landscapes. The ruinous presence of these – a ubiquitous feature of the landscape in early medieval England – had already left an enduring mark on Old English elegy. When the Andreas poet rehoused his monsters in one of these places, he not only created one of the most powerful settings in the Anglo-Saxon corpus, but also, inadvertently, the first surviving urban horror story in English literature.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Mike Bintley
    Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 12:33
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:45


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