A Review of Beuowulf: Retold by Gary Whitaker
I still remember the first time I encountered the text of Beowulf. I was a NT Greek major at Abilene Christian University and one of the readings in British Literature was of course, Beuowulf. I was stunned and mesmerized. As I entered the kennings and litotes and other literary devices of my Viking ancestors, I knew I had found something that touched my soul and heart. Steve Weathers, a life-long friend, was my instructor, and as he taught the Anglo-Saxon account of the Viking tale, my soul took flight and in my imagination, I walked the mead-halls as a dragon hunter.
The next significant time I encountered Beowulf was with Gary Whitaker, a storyteller who generously encouraged and prompted me to pursue Scottish-Irish storytelling. I owe him a great deal. In addition to the storytelling encouragement, I found a man who loved Beowulf as much as I did—a man who understood the tale, who felt it in his bones, and as I listened to his account, I heard the voices of the ancient bards and scops retelling one of the stories that made me decide to become an English major.
I’m delighted to say that Whitaker has made a DVD that relates the tale of Beowulf, and one that does it well. You can find Whitaker as a storyteller at such prestigious events as the North Texas Irish Festival. You can order his DVD of Beowulf on his website below. He has other CDs and DVDs that would interest anyone who is fascinated by Celtic or Norse mythology or legends, including Tales of Ancient Warriors, Summer of the Red Dragon, and Something Wicked. For anyone who loves ancient legend and literature, hearing Whitaker as a storyteller is a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience.
Whitaker’s website is here: http://www.storymantales.com/ He is approachable, so listen to his samples and drop him an email. I highly recommend him. I’d love to hear your thoughts about what you find.