Hwæt is a term most famous for being the opening word of the legendary Old English poem, Beowulf. In various translations of the millenia-spanning epic it has been interpreted as "What ho!" , "Hear me!" , "Attend!" , "Indeed!" , "So," and even "Bro." in Maria Dahvana Headley's 2020 translation. To this day there is much debate over its original meaning, including whether it should even be read as an interjection at all.
Hwæt, then, is a term that suggests something archaic but also something contemporary. Its meaning is not only debated to this day but routinely reimagined. It represents ancient ideas consistently brought forward with time, and the extents to which even the oldest stories can still speak to us on a deep level.
Our focus with this zine is to harness that spirit – to examine the ways that ancient ideas, some still present and popular, some buried and half forgotten, nevertheless survive in the modern day.