I want to share a podcast interview with you. I met to discuss the epic poem Beowulf with Jack Donovan, author of The Way of Men, Fire In The Dark, and other great books that discuss the nature of masculinity as it manifests in myth, history, and culture.
Jack was visiting a few of the European members of the Order of Fire in Ireland, so after a weekend of sightseeing, hiking, camping, and drinking whiskey in the rain beside a moonlit lake, we sat down in a hotel room to talk about Beowulf.
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon poem that dates back over a thousand years. It tells the story of a young Germanic warrior named Beowulf who fights and defeats various monsters, rises to kingship, and his final battle against a dragon. Beowulf explores themes of heroism, glory, loyalty, sacrifice, and the search for meaning, making it a significant literary work that continues to resonate with readers today.
Moreover, Beowulf serves as a historical and cultural artifact, providing insights into the early medieval or “Dark Age” period. It offers a glimpse into Germanic warrior culture, ancient social structures, the complex relationships between kings and their subjects, and the contrast between pre-Christian and Christian societies. The poem also showcases the power of storytelling and oral tradition in preserving history and passing down cultural heritage.
The Beowulf poem has influenced countless works of literature and popular culture, inspiring authors, filmmakers, artists, and musicians to create their own interpretations and adaptations. The themes of heroism, sacrifice, and the quest for meaning explored in Beowulf continue to resonate with modern readers.
About Jack Donovan
Jack Donovan is an American author known for his works on masculinity, myth, history, and culture. He has written several books such as “The Way of Men” and “Fire In The Dark” that delve into the nature of masculinity and its significance in societies both ancient and modern.
Donovan’s writings explore the role of ancient stories and their wisdom in helping individuals navigate life’s challenges. His extensive podcast catalog and thought-provoking written works can be found on his website, which is linked below.
Interview with Jack Donovan
In the podcast discussion I first describe how I believe ancient stories hold wisdom that can help us solve problems and live better lives.
I summarize the narrative of Beowulf, a thousand-year-old Anglo-Saxon poem, which tells the story of a young warrior who kills two monsters, becomes a king, and dies fighting and Dragon. Beowulf’s lessons on heroism, sacrifice, and the search for meaning resonate with men today, inspiring them to connect with their own heroic spirit.
After the summary, we talk at length about the symbolic, cultural, and psychological lessons we modern men can take from the Beowulf poem and apply to our own lives.
- The podcast is on the Order of Fire YouTube channel, which you can find here: https://youtu.be/jRneP41nOrQ?si=nzLzmFgqyXBxreRI
- My latest publication is Beowulf Illustrated, which includes the Beowulf poem and almost 200 unique illustrations to bring the text to life. You can find it here in paperback, ebook, or audiobook form: https://www.amazon.com/Beowulf-Illustrated/dp/1838454810/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?crid=33R3VUK8TKFM7&keywords=paul+begadon&qid=1701298966&sprefix=paul+begadon%2Caps%2C146&sr=8-1
- To read more of Jack’s work or to listen to his extensive podcast catalog, check out his site here: https://www.jack-donovan.com/sowilo/
I hope you check out the podcast and find it to be useful. I’d really appreciate if you could share it with anyone who might be interested. If you’ve got any questions or comments to share, send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org