Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

More Beowulf

Expand Messages
  • Ellen
    I was mildly horrified by the Beowulf trailer, though depending on what I hear from people who go to see it, I could see myself renting it on DVD down the road
    Message 1 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      I was mildly horrified by the Beowulf trailer, though depending on what
      I hear from people who go to see it, I could see myself renting it on
      DVD down the road with lots of beer handy.

      However, all the talk of Beowulf has got me pining to read it again. I
      even had a dream the night before I started teaching my college students
      for the semester, and I had to teach a course on Beowulf (not a remote
      possibility in real life since I teach voice lessons in the music
      department). I was standing in front of a class of students trying to
      bs my way through the first class, realizing that I hadn't even told
      them what books to buy or written a syllabus.

      What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the Old English
      on one side and the translation on the facing page (I know there is a
      word for that sort of book but it is escaping me at the moment). Does
      anyone know of one of these with a good translation that is readily
      available? I've never studied Old English but because I've studied
      German I can often figure out some of it if I've got a translation
      beside me.

      I was the probably the only kid in my class who loved Beowulf. In
      fact, I loved it so much that my thesis paper for AP English was to
      compare and contrast Beowulf and Frodo as heroes. One of the things
      that makes LotR so accessible is that Frodo is an everyman hero that is
      easy to identify with. But I don't mind the classic types like Beowulf
      either.

      Regarding the Beowulf movie, I would guess that the assumption is that
      Beowulf was this godawful thing that people had to read in school and
      nobody liked anyway or would even remember what the plot was, so they
      can do whatever the hell they please.

      It reminds me of a really dimwitted comment that Demi (why does the name
      seem appropriate here?) Moore made when she was in the movie adaptation
      of The Scarlet Letter. Apparently, the movie had some differences from
      the book. "Not that many people have read the book," she was reported
      to have said, or something similar. I'll just go into a closet and
      scream quietly.

      Ellen Denham


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • lakowskir
      There is an excellent modern verse translation of Beowulf by the Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who now teaches at Harvard. He also won
      Message 2 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
      • 0 Attachment
        There is an excellent modern verse translation of Beowulf by the
        Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who now
        teaches at Harvard. He also won the prestigous Whitbread Literary
        prize for his Beowulf translation.

        Seamus Heaney's edition comes in a number of formats. One is a
        bilingual edition with the Old English text and Heaney's translation
        on facing pages. It can also be found in the Norton Critical
        Editions series (Edited by Daniel Donogue also of Harvard) which
        includes a whole lot of interesting essays on Beowulf at the back,
        including of course Tolkien's which has pride of place. (If you are
        planning to order the Norton be aware that there is also a another
        prose translation of Beowulf by Talbot Donaldson available as a
        separate volume in the Norton series.) I have had a lot of success
        using Heaney's Norton Critical edition to teach Beowulf in
        my first year english classes. (Seamus Heaney's translation
        is also available in the Norton Anthology of English Literature.)

        There is also a partial recording of Seamus Heaney reading his
        own translation originally broadcast on BBC Radio available through
        Highbridge Audio in North America.

        It you would like to try listening to Beowulf in the original there
        are several recordings available. The Tolkien scholar Micheal Drout
        has made his own recording which you can order through his website.
        I also picked up a recording at Kalamazoo a couple of years ago
        by a team of readers (a dramatic reading) made originally at
        Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is
        available through the Chaucer Studio Website.

        As far as film adaptations of Beowulf are concerned, the only
        one I have seen the Science Fiction version (set on an alien
        planet) starring Van Damme. I don't if it's just plain awful
        or rather falls into the category of being so bad that it's good.
        But I don't think it's quite as bad as The Scarlet Letter or that
        awful monstrosity Moll Flanders (based loosely on the character
        of Defoe's novel).

        Romuald Lakowski





        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Ellen <carnimiriel@...> wrote:
        >
        > I was mildly horrified by the Beowulf trailer, though depending on
        what
        > I hear from people who go to see it, I could see myself renting it
        on
        > DVD down the road with lots of beer handy.
        >
        > However, all the talk of Beowulf has got me pining to read it
        again. I
        > even had a dream the night before I started teaching my college
        students
        > for the semester, and I had to teach a course on Beowulf (not a
        remote
        > possibility in real life since I teach voice lessons in the music
        > department). I was standing in front of a class of students
        trying to
        > bs my way through the first class, realizing that I hadn't even
        told
        > them what books to buy or written a syllabus.
        >
        > What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the Old
        English
        > on one side and the translation on the facing page (I know there
        is a
        > word for that sort of book but it is escaping me at the moment).
        Does
        > anyone know of one of these with a good translation that is
        readily
        > available? I've never studied Old English but because I've
        studied
        > German I can often figure out some of it if I've got a translation
        > beside me.
        >
        > I was the probably the only kid in my class who loved Beowulf. In
        > fact, I loved it so much that my thesis paper for AP English was
        to
        > compare and contrast Beowulf and Frodo as heroes. One of the
        things
        > that makes LotR so accessible is that Frodo is an everyman hero
        that is
        > easy to identify with. But I don't mind the classic types like
        Beowulf
        > either.
        >
        > Regarding the Beowulf movie, I would guess that the assumption is
        that
        > Beowulf was this godawful thing that people had to read in school
        and
        > nobody liked anyway or would even remember what the plot was, so
        they
        > can do whatever the hell they please.
        >
        > It reminds me of a really dimwitted comment that Demi (why does
        the name
        > seem appropriate here?) Moore made when she was in the movie
        adaptation
        > of The Scarlet Letter. Apparently, the movie had some differences
        from
        > the book. "Not that many people have read the book," she was
        reported
        > to have said, or something similar. I'll just go into a closet
        and
        > scream quietly.
        >
        > Ellen Denham
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • lakowskir
        I just checked IMDB which gave the movie I referred to in my previous post a 3.5/10 and found that I got the lead actor wrong: It was Christopher Lambert not
        Message 3 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          I just checked IMDB which gave the movie I referred to
          in my previous post a 3.5/10 and found that I got the
          lead actor wrong: It was Christopher Lambert not Van Damme.
        • WendellWag@aol.com
          In a message dated 8/23/2007 5:48:25 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, carnimiriel@ameritech.net writes: What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the
          Message 4 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            In a message dated 8/23/2007 5:48:25 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
            carnimiriel@... writes:

            What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the Old English
            on one side and the translation on the facing page (I know there is a
            word for that sort of book but it is escaping me at the moment). Does
            anyone know of one of these with a good translation that is readily
            available? I've never studied Old English but because I've studied
            German I can often figure out some of it if I've got a translation
            beside me.



            Knossos, the Mythopoeic Society group here in the Washington, D.C. area,
            read Beowulf earlier this year. (This is our year for epics. Beowulf, The
            Aeneid, and The Shahnameh all in one year. What we did to start the meeting for
            both Beowulf and The Aeneid was to go around the circle reading the first
            dozen or so lines from the translation that each of us read. We had read both
            of them in so many different translations that this worked well. This is one
            of the ways that it's nice to have a group of people to read books with.

            Wendell Wagner



            ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
            http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • lakowskir
            There is also another bilingual edition with both the Old English text and a verse translation on facing pages by Howell D. Chickering, Jr. published by
            Message 5 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
            • 0 Attachment
              There is also another bilingual edition with both the Old English
              text and a verse translation on facing pages by Howell D. Chickering, Jr.
              published by Anchor Books (400 pages). The verse translation is I think
              more literal than Seamus Heaney's though not as good as modern poetry.
              This edition is more for the benefit of students. It has an extensive
              Introduction (40 pages) and commentary on the text (140 pages)
              together with a brief glossary (25 pages) to selected passages.

              I have to confess that it has been over 20 years since I studied Old
              English. However, I taught a History of the English Language course
              last Fall, which I will also be teaching again this Fall. The course
              includes two or three weeks on (the rudiments of) Old English
              Grammar. I was surprised by how quickly it all came back.

              Romuald Lakowski


              >
              > There is an excellent modern verse translation of Beowulf by the
              > Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who now
              > teaches at Harvard. He also won the prestigous Whitbread Literary
              > prize for his Beowulf translation.
              >
              > Seamus Heaney's edition comes in a number of formats. One is a
              > bilingual edition with the Old English text and Heaney's translation
              > on facing pages. It can also be found in the Norton Critical
              > Editions series (Edited by Daniel Donogue also of Harvard) which
              > includes a whole lot of interesting essays on Beowulf at the back,
              > including of course Tolkien's which has pride of place. (If you are
              > planning to order the Norton be aware that there is also a another
              > prose translation of Beowulf by Talbot Donaldson available as a
              > separate volume in the Norton series.) I have had a lot of success
              > using Heaney's Norton Critical edition to teach Beowulf in
              > my first year english classes. (Seamus Heaney's translation
              > is also available in the Norton Anthology of English Literature.)
              >
              > There is also a partial recording of Seamus Heaney reading his
              > own translation originally broadcast on BBC Radio available through
              > Highbridge Audio in North America.
              >
              > It you would like to try listening to Beowulf in the original there
              > are several recordings available. The Tolkien scholar Micheal Drout
              > has made his own recording which you can order through his website.
              > I also picked up a recording at Kalamazoo a couple of years ago
              > by a team of readers (a dramatic reading) made originally at
              > Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is
              > available through the Chaucer Studio Website.
              >
              > As far as film adaptations of Beowulf are concerned, the only
              > one I have seen the Science Fiction version (set on an alien
              > planet) starring Van Damme. I don't if it's just plain awful
              > or rather falls into the category of being so bad that it's good.
              > But I don't think it's quite as bad as The Scarlet Letter or that
              > awful monstrosity Moll Flanders (based loosely on the character
              > of Defoe's novel).
              >
              > Romuald Lakowski
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Ellen <carnimiriel@> wrote:
              > >
              > > I was mildly horrified by the Beowulf trailer, though depending on
              > what
              > > I hear from people who go to see it, I could see myself renting it
              > on
              > > DVD down the road with lots of beer handy.
              > >
              > > However, all the talk of Beowulf has got me pining to read it
              > again. I
              > > even had a dream the night before I started teaching my college
              > students
              > > for the semester, and I had to teach a course on Beowulf (not a
              > remote
              > > possibility in real life since I teach voice lessons in the music
              > > department). I was standing in front of a class of students
              > trying to
              > > bs my way through the first class, realizing that I hadn't even
              > told
              > > them what books to buy or written a syllabus.
              > >
              > > What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the Old
              > English
              > > on one side and the translation on the facing page (I know there
              > is a
              > > word for that sort of book but it is escaping me at the moment).
              > Does
              > > anyone know of one of these with a good translation that is
              > readily
              > > available? I've never studied Old English but because I've
              > studied
              > > German I can often figure out some of it if I've got a translation
              > > beside me.
              > >
              > > I was the probably the only kid in my class who loved Beowulf. In
              > > fact, I loved it so much that my thesis paper for AP English was
              > to
              > > compare and contrast Beowulf and Frodo as heroes. One of the
              > things
              > > that makes LotR so accessible is that Frodo is an everyman hero
              > that is
              > > easy to identify with. But I don't mind the classic types like
              > Beowulf
              > > either.
              > >
              > > Regarding the Beowulf movie, I would guess that the assumption is
              > that
              > > Beowulf was this godawful thing that people had to read in school
              > and
              > > nobody liked anyway or would even remember what the plot was, so
              > they
              > > can do whatever the hell they please.
              > >
              > > It reminds me of a really dimwitted comment that Demi (why does
              > the name
              > > seem appropriate here?) Moore made when she was in the movie
              > adaptation
              > > of The Scarlet Letter. Apparently, the movie had some differences
              > from
              > > the book. "Not that many people have read the book," she was
              > reported
              > > to have said, or something similar. I'll just go into a closet
              > and
              > > scream quietly.
              > >
              > > Ellen Denham
              > >
              > >
              > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              > >
              >
            • Merlin DeTardo
              ...
              Message 6 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                ---"lakowskir" <lakowskir@...> wrote:
                <<There is an excellent modern verse translation of Beowulf by the
                Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney...
                The Tolkien scholar Micheal Drout has made his own recording which
                you can order through his website.>>

                In the liner notes to Drout's recording, he recommends two
                translations: "Seamus Heaney (for poetry) and Roy Liuzza (for
                accuracy)". Richard Scott Nokes also praises Liuzza's translation,
                contrasting it with Heaney's here:

                http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/06/on-hollywulf.html

                "[T]ripped over his shillelagh"?

                Tom Shippey reviewed Heaney's translations for the _Times Literary
                Supplement_ (Oct. 1, 1999). His verdict: "Like it or not, Heaney's
                _Beowulf_ is the poem now, for probably two generations." I'm not
                sure if Shippey's review is available online.


                <<[Heaney] won the prestigous Whitbread Literary prize for his
                Beowulf translation>>

                As I recall, he edged out one of the Harry Potter volumes for that
                prize, in a contentious decision.


                <<As far as film adaptations of Beowulf are concerned, the only one I
                have seen is the Science Fiction version...>>

                Turning to Nokes once more, he recently noted another _Beowulf_ film
                in the works, a charity film production called _Beowulf: Prince of
                the Geats_:

                http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2007/07/beowulf-fights-
                cancer.html

                -Merlin DeTardo
              • Merlin DeTardo
                --WendellWag@... wrote:
                Message 7 of 16 , Aug 23, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  --WendellWag@... wrote:<< Knossos, the Mythopoeic Society group here in the Washington, D.C. area, read Beowulf earlier this year... What we did to start the meeting for both Beowulf and The Aeneid was to go around the circle reading the first dozen or so lines from the translation that each of us read. We had read both of them in so many different translations that this worked well. This is one of the ways that it's nice to have a group of people to read books with. >>

                  Quite right. Similarly, there's an ongoing discussion of Beowulf (in modern English) at TheOneRing.net, that started in May and runs roughly once a week in this forum, which I have found quite enjoyable and an aid to better understanding the story. Wednesday's twentieth installment just reached Grendel's mother. Earlier installments can be read here:

                  I Needful kings
                  II Who was related to whom and in what degree
                  III Grendel
                  IV Forth the fifteen hunters
                  V Unlatched his word-hoard
                  VI Wulfgar is flattering the intruders
                  VII Now finally to Hrothgar
                  VIII It sounds more like piracy than nation-states
                  IX Beowulf swam through the ocean for five nights
                  X Passing the cup
                  XI Grendel is coming
                  XII The fight begins
                  XIII And... the fight ends
                  XIV And there was great rejoicing
                  XV Hrothgar and Beowulf speak
                  XVI Let's see what you've won
                  XVII Let's celebrate with a song of treachery and sorrow
                  XVIII One queen's fate, another queen's speech
                  XIX One mother speaks, another is on her way

                  If those links don't come through, here are the URLs:

                  Forum:
                  http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?forum=1;

                  Discussion:
                  1. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=20972
                  2. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=21366
                  3. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=21970
                  4. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=22667
                  5. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=23138
                  6. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=23976
                  7. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=25045
                  8. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=26096
                  9. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=27246
                  10. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=28397
                  11. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=29445
                  12. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=30631
                  13. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=31671
                  14. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=32800
                  15. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=33924
                  16. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=34541
                  17. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=35417
                  18. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=36249
                  19. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=37191
                  20. http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=37896

                  -Merlin DeTardo
                  _________________________________________________________________
                  Find a local pizza place, movie theater, and more�.then map the best route!
                  http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&ss=yp.bars~yp.pizza~yp.movie%20theater&cp=42.358996~-71.056691&style=r&lvl=13&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=950607&encType=1&FORM=MGAC01

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • William Cloud Hicklin
                  ... translation of Beowulf by the ... Heaney... ... own recording which ... recommends two ... Roy Liuzza (for ... Liuzza s translation, ... on-hollywulf.html
                  Message 8 of 16 , Aug 24, 2007
                  • 0 Attachment
                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
                    DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > ---"lakowskir" <lakowskir@> wrote:
                    > <<There is an excellent modern verse
                    translation of Beowulf by the
                    > Nobel prize-winning Northern Irish poet Seamus
                    Heaney...
                    > The Tolkien scholar Micheal Drout has made his
                    own recording which
                    > you can order through his website.>>
                    >
                    > In the liner notes to Drout's recording, he
                    recommends two
                    > translations: "Seamus Heaney (for poetry) and
                    Roy Liuzza (for
                    > accuracy)". Richard Scott Nokes also praises
                    Liuzza's translation,
                    > contrasting it with Heaney's here:
                    >
                    > http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2005/06/
                    on-hollywulf.html
                    >
                    > "[T]ripped over his shillelagh"?
                    >
                    > Tom Shippey reviewed Heaney's translations for
                    the _Times Literary
                    > Supplement_ (Oct. 1, 1999). His verdict:
                    "Like it or not, Heaney's
                    > _Beowulf_ is the poem now, for probably two
                    generations." I'm not
                    > sure if Shippey's review is available online.

                    De gustibus and all that, but for me Heaney is
                    too modern. I like to feel that I'm hearing an
                    8th-century scop, and Heaney's modernism
                    constantly punctures my disbelief on that
                    plane. As JRRT said of Theoden, a man who spoke
                    like a Modern wouldn't think like that. I'll
                    stick with my crusty century-old Tinker... at
                    least until Tolkien's own comes out.
                  • dbltall42
                    Can anyone recommend a good translation of The Wanderer and The Seafarer ? I remember reading them along with Beowulf at school, but that was a long time
                    Message 9 of 16 , Aug 24, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Can anyone recommend a good translation of "The Wanderer" and "The
                      Seafarer"? I remember reading them along with Beowulf at school, but
                      that was a long time ago, and I no longer seem to have the book.

                      This discussion has prompted me to reread Beowulf, and now I'd like to
                      read the other poems again as well.

                      thanks,

                      Mariette
                    • John D Rateliff
                      ... Dual-text edition . I have both Chickering s and Heaney s (as well as Wrenn s and of course Klaeber s editions of the original, and several more
                      Message 10 of 16 , Aug 25, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Aug 23, 2007, at 2:45 PM, Ellen wrote:
                        > What I would really love is a copy of Beowulf that has the Old
                        > English on one side and the translation on the facing page (I know
                        > there is a
                        > word for that sort of book but it is escaping me at the moment).
                        > Does anyone know of one of these with a good translation that is
                        > readily
                        > available?

                        'Dual-text edition'. I have both Chickering's and Heaney's (as well
                        as Wrenn's and of course Klaeber's editions of the original, and
                        several more translations) but find I make more use of the
                        Chickering. Since Tolkien's own translations are unpublished, the one
                        available that's most closely linked to him is the Wrenn revision of
                        Clark-Hall, to which JRRT provided a lengthy preface on issues
                        involved in translating BEOWULF. For a hilariously bad translation,
                        which for example describes Heorot as a "saloon" rather than a "mead-
                        hall", see Earle's THE DEEDS OF BEOWULF, recently reprinted in THE
                        FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BEOWULF.


                        On Aug 24, 2007, at 6:43 AM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
                        > a big fat 'action-adventure' label, proclaiming to the world an
                        > Eddy Wilson-grade superficial impression of Tolkien's work

                        Actually, I believe his nickname was "Bunny" Wilson. And he would
                        have hated the movie, although he is on record as having rather liked
                        YELLOW SUBMARINE (think he identified with the Blue Meanies).


                        On Aug 24, 2007, at 6:48 AM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
                        > De gustibus and all that, but for me Heaney is too modern. I like
                        > to feel that I'm hearing an 8th-century scop, and Heaney's
                        > modernism constantly punctures my disbelief on that plane.

                        According to recent theories, it could date from as early as the 8th
                        century or as late of the 11th, though I don't think that shd matter
                        one way or the other for your enjoyment; it's a wonderful relic from
                        a lost world in either case.
                        I wonder if they can pull off the dragon?

                        --JDR
                      • Merlin DeTardo
                        ...
                        Message 11 of 16 , Aug 25, 2007
                        • 0 Attachment
                          ---John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                          <<Since Tolkien's own translations are unpublished, the one available
                          that's most closely linked to him is the Wrenn revision of Clark-
                          Hall, to which JRRT provided a lengthy preface on issues involved in
                          translating BEOWULF. For a hilariously bad translation, which for
                          example describes Heorot as a "saloon" rather than a "mead-hall", see
                          Earle's THE DEEDS OF BEOWULF, recently reprinted in THE FURTHER
                          ADVENTURES OF BEOWULF.>>

                          Burton Raffel, later to comment on Tolkien in the collection _Tolkien
                          and the Critics_ (where he writes at least three times that he likes
                          _LotR_, but is at pains to emphasize that it is not "literature"),
                          also translated _Beowulf_. Interestingly, Christina Scull and Wayne
                          Hammond's _Chronology_ (p. 566) and _Reader's Guide_ (p. 770) reveal
                          that Tolkien, after reading Raffel's _Poems from the Old English_
                          translation (1960), commented at length on the subject of translation
                          in an essay yet unpublished, apart from an excerpt in the _Reader's
                          Guide_. Here's what Tolkien writes there about modern English:

                          "It can, if asked, still play in modes no longer favoured and
                          remember airs not now popular; it is not limited to the fashionable
                          cacophonies."

                          In light of your reference to _Yellow Submarine_, "fashionable
                          cacophonies" makes me think of Tolkien's dislike of The Beatles.

                          -Merlin DeTardo
                        • John D Rateliff
                          ... The most famous translation of The Seafarer is that by Ezra Pound (cf. New Directions SELECTED POEMS OF EZRA POUND, pages 18-21), but it s more a loose
                          Message 12 of 16 , Aug 27, 2007
                          • 0 Attachment
                            On Aug 24, 2007, at 12:04 PM, dbltall42 wrote:
                            > Can anyone recommend a good translation of "The Wanderer" and "The
                            > Seafarer"? I remember reading them along with Beowulf at school,
                            > but that was a long time ago, and I no longer seem to have the book.

                            The most famous translation of "The Seafarer" is that by Ezra Pound
                            (cf. New Directions' SELECTED POEMS OF EZRA POUND, pages 18-21), but
                            it's more a loose adaptation than a literal translation. Both "The
                            Wanderer" and the first half of "The Seafarer" appear in Charles W.
                            Kennedy's AN ANTHOLOGY OF OLD ENGLISH POETRY, along with other
                            important pieces such as "Deor's Lament", "Widsith", "The Battle of
                            Maldon", "The Dream of the Rood" (an account of the crucifixion from
                            the point of view of the cross), and bits of BEOWULF (Beowulf vs. the
                            Dragon). Prose translations of BEOWULF and both the poems you
                            mention, along with several others, appear in Constance Hieatt's
                            BEOWULF AND OTHER OLD ENGLISH POEMS.

                            > This discussion has prompted me to reread Beowulf,

                            Always a good thing

                            > and now I'd like to read the other poems again as well.

                            Also a good idea.


                            On Aug 25, 2007, at 7:24 PM, Merlin DeTardo wrote:
                            > Burton Raffel, later to comment on Tolkien in the collection
                            > _Tolkien and the Critics_ (where he writes at least three times
                            > that he likes
                            > _LotR_, but is at pains to emphasize that it is not "literature"),
                            > also translated _Beowulf_. Interestingly, Christina Scull and
                            > Wayne Hammond's _Chronology_ (p. 566) and _Reader's Guide_ (p. 770)
                            > reveal that Tolkien, after reading Raffel's _Poems from the Old
                            > English_ translation (1960), commented at length on the subject of
                            > translation in an essay yet unpublished, apart from an excerpt in
                            > the _Reader's Guide_. Here's what Tolkien writes there about
                            > modern English:
                            >
                            > "It can, if asked, still play in modes no longer favoured and
                            > remember airs not now popular; it is not limited to the fashionable
                            > cacophonies."

                            I recently went back and reread Raffel's essay as part of the
                            preparation for my Marquette talk; think he offers a good example of
                            the mental gymnastics some critics tried to use to exclude Tolkien
                            back in the early days. Thought I had a copy of his translations, but
                            it seems to have wandered at some point and not returned. Not
                            surprised Tolkien didn't like it: his comments elsewhere make it
                            clear he disapproved both of inappropriate colloquialism (e.g. the
                            Earle BEOWULF translation) and false archaisms (e.g. Wm Morris's
                            translation -- though I was struck to discover that Morris uses the
                            phrase "the lord of the rings" at one point in it). Although it's
                            only fair to point out that Tolkien's definition of "archaic" was
                            somewhat different than ours, given his belief that everything since
                            about 1830 was "modern". Hence he didn't consider, say, Tennyson's
                            poetic diction as archaic, as anyone influenced by Ezra Pound did,
                            and his own translations tend towards deliberately old-fashioned
                            phrasing and forms -- cf. the Green Knight's speech from SIR GAWAIN &
                            THE GREEN KNIGHT:

                            "See thou get ready, Gawain, to go as thou vowedst,
                            and as faithfully seek till thou find me, good sir,
                            as thou hast promised . . ."
                            (stanza 20, lines 5-7a).

                            I remember John Gardner, who published a competing wholly modernized
                            translation of GAWAIN at about the same time as Tolkien's posthumous
                            translation came out, was pretty severe on JRRT for taking the
                            opposite approach, but he didn't make as good a case for his own
                            procedure as Tolkien did for his.

                            "fashionable cacophonies" reminds me of when I had to read part of C.
                            Day Lewis's translation of THE AENEID in a class, and balked at the
                            line where Mercury ordered Aeneas to abandon Dido by urging him to
                            "cut and run", or some such inappropriately modern cliche. Modernism
                            with a vengeance.


                            > In light of your reference to _Yellow Submarine_, "fashionable
                            > cacophonies" makes me think of Tolkien's dislike of The Beatles.

                            Yes, JRRT belonged to a generation for whom rock music was all simply
                            so much noise. Not an unusual reaction; I have much the same distaste
                            for, and lack of knowledge about, rap/hip-hop.

                            --JDR
                          • Merlin DeTardo
                            ...
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 27, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              ---John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                              << Not surprised Tolkien didn't like [Burton Raffel's translations
                              from Old English]: his comments elsewhere make it clear he
                              disapproved both of inappropriate colloquialism (e.g. the Earle
                              BEOWULF translation) and false archaisms (e.g. Wm Morris's
                              translation -- though I was struck to discover that Morris uses the
                              phrase "the lord of the rings" at one point in it). >>

                              Now that is interesting. I've seen earlier suggestions that Tolkien
                              may have been inspired by "hringa thengel" and "hringa fengel" from
                              _Beowulf_, which translate loosely as "lord of the rings" [1] but
                              never a mention of the phrase in Morris's version (which I've
                              obviously not read). Thanks for that!

                              -Merlin DeTardo


                              [1] At least four times online, apparently independently. Here are
                              excerpts:

                              1. NZ Strider, "A note on the title 'The Lord of the Rings'", April
                              2002.
                              http://www.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/3CC9FAA50
                              0006D2D.html
                              "Correctly translated, the phrase means nothing more than the 'prince
                              in a mail-shirt' or the 'mail-clad king.' However, a mechanical,
                              lexicon-speak translation --of the sort first-year language students
                              routinely produce when paging eagerly through their glossaries--
                              might make of 'hringa thengel' nothing other than 'the lord of the
                              rings' -- a perfect, literal rendering."

                              2. Kristen Brennan, "Lord of the Rings" (_Star Wars Origins_), c.
                              2004-2006.
                              http://www.spookybug.com/origins/lotr.html
                              "Tolkien even borrows his title from Beowulf: line 2345
                              reads, 'Oferhogaode ða hringa fengel,' usually translated 'Yet the
                              prince of the rings was too proud...' This suggests Beowulf's trait
                              of sharing gold rings and other spoils of war with his men, thus
                              earning their loyalty. I strongly suspect that Tolkien translated
                              this title of Beowulf's as 'Lord of the Rings.'"

                              3. Simon J. Browne, "Fridtjof Nansen and J.R.R. Tolkien", c. 2005-
                              2007.
                              http://nansen-tolkien.co.uk/tolkien.html
                              "Hringa thengel translates roughly as ring prince or the lord of the
                              rings. The rings, in the context of this usage in _Beowulf_, being
                              chain-mail armour."

                              4. FarFromHome, "Gifts: 'Lord of the Gifts'?", January 2007.
                              http://www.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/45AD452F0
                              0026657.html
                              "I noticed that one of the favourite descriptions for a good and wise
                              king involved phrases very similar to 'Lord of the Rings' --Heaney
                              uses 'prince of the rings', 'lord of the ring-hoard' and 'ring-giver'
                              among others-- to describe Beowulf himself when he is king in his
                              later years, and other good kings earlier in the story."


                              Probably there are many earlier examples. There's a _Mythlore_
                              article that I haven't read whose title is promising in this regard:

                              Stratyner, Leslie. "De Us ðas Beagas Geaf (He Who Gave Us These
                              Rings): Sauron and the Perversion of Anglo-Saxon Ethos." _Mythlore_
                              16 (1989): 5-8.
                            • lakowskir
                              For anyone who has even a smattering of Old-English there is a bilingual edition by Richard Hamer entitled: A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse (Faber & Faber, 1970,
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 27, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                For anyone who has even a smattering of Old-English there is
                                a bilingual edition by Richard Hamer entitled:

                                A Choice of Anglo-Saxon Verse (Faber & Faber, 1970, 2006)

                                which includes The Wanderer and The Seafarer. The translation
                                seems quite accurate.

                                There are also bilingual texts of both poems to be found in
                                "The Keys of Middle Earth: Discovering Medieval Literature
                                Through the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien" by Stuart D. Lee
                                and Elizabeth Solopova (Palgrave, 2005). I enjoyed Stuart
                                Lee's talk at the Birmingham Tolkien Conference in 2005,
                                where he used examples from "The Wanderer" and other texts.

                                The most comprehensive collection of (prose) translations of
                                Anglo-Saxon Poetry (Everyman) by S.A.J. Bradley is unfortunately
                                a rather poor one. (It does contain translations of poems that are
                                hard to find elsewhere.) I used it as a graduate student and it
                                ended up turning me off anglo-saxon poetry. It was an "Old English
                                Graduate Course" but we were reading in translation and were supposed
                                to use the original OE texts for our papers. (I ended up switching
                                to audit status.)

                                Now that I am teaching "The History of the English Language", I am
                                starting to work with Anglo-Saxon again. Unfortunately, there
                                isn't time to go into more than the rudiments in the course.

                                I am thinking of brushing up my Old English grammar and want to use
                                something a bit more accessible than Sweet, Mitchell or Campbell.
                                I saw a new work entitled "An Introduction to Old English" by
                                Peter S. Baker (Blackwell, 2003). It has favourable reviews on
                                Amazon.com, and supposedly includes links to online resources.
                                Has anyone actually used it? And what was your impression?

                                Romuald (Ronnie) Lakowski
                                Edmonton, Alberta

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "dbltall42" <dbltall@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > Can anyone recommend a good translation of "The Wanderer" and "The
                                > Seafarer"? I remember reading them along with Beowulf at school,
                                but
                                > that was a long time ago, and I no longer seem to have the book.
                                >
                                > This discussion has prompted me to reread Beowulf, and now I'd
                                like to
                                > read the other poems again as well.
                                >
                                > thanks,
                                >
                                > Mariette
                                >
                              • Lynn Maudlin
                                I like hip-hop, if the lyrics aren t oppressive. Rap s lack of melody combined with overpowering bass is exhausting to my ears (literally exhausting) - add the
                                Message 15 of 16 , Aug 27, 2007
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  I like hip-hop, if the lyrics aren't oppressive. Rap's lack of melody
                                  combined with overpowering bass is exhausting to my ears (literally
                                  exhausting) - add the almost de-rigeur offensive lyrics and I'm bound
                                  to loathe it.

                                  -- Lynn --

                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Yes, JRRT belonged to a generation for whom rock music was all simply
                                  > so much noise. Not an unusual reaction; I have much the same distaste
                                  > for, and lack of knowledge about, rap/hip-hop.
                                • Cole Matson
                                  Grace Walker Monk wrote:
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Aug 27, 2007
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    Grace Walker Monk wrote:

                                    << Okay, then let's talk about Beowulf. :-)>>

                                    :-)!

                                    << Obviously, I haven't seen the RZ version, scripted by Roger Avery and the
                                    fab Neil Gaiman. So neither of us can really speak to it directly, although
                                    you are correct in that the trailers seem to indicate something *ahem*
                                    different from what I read.>>

                                    Yes, you're right. We're just going by the trailer, which, as I think it was
                                    you who mentioned earlier, probably focused a bit more on
                                    Grendel's-Mother-as-Seducer than is actually in the movie, as a ploy to get
                                    butts in seats. But even a little Angelina Jolie is way out of text! Btw, I
                                    saw a blurb about BEOWULF in the current ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. Quote: "'It's
                                    *Beowulf* enough that a high school English teacher can take a class to it,
                                    and afterward the kids can argue about the couple of things we have changed
                                    and whether they were legitimate things to do,' says co-writer Neil Gaiman (
                                    *Stardust*)." (Full text of the blurb at
                                    http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20051361_20051365_20051729,00.html.) Well,
                                    sounds like the discussion has already started! But I don't know a single
                                    English teacher who would feel comfortable taking his or her students on a
                                    school-sanctioned field trip that includes seeing Angelina Jolie "dripping
                                    wet and naked except for the gold liquid covering her unmentionables. In
                                    3-D."

                                    I've been thinking about this issue of adaptation as I speed through the
                                    Stephen R. Lawhead Pendragon Cycle. (I'm currently on Book 3, ARTHUR.) There
                                    are more and more differences from the tale I knew as I go along. For
                                    example, in this book, Merlin was not indefinitely trapped by Nimue in a
                                    cave. He was temporarily enchanted in a "deathly sleep" by a disguised
                                    Morgian (i.e. Morgan le Fay), using the name Nimue, but was awoken within a
                                    matter of days. But I really don't care how these books are different,
                                    because they prominently feature the part of Arthurian legend I love best:
                                    What Lawhead calls the "Kingdom of Summer." Camelot: An entire kingdom
                                    dedicated to God, to holiness, to Goodness and Right. A just king who loves
                                    and is loved by his people with all devotion, and rules with justice
                                    tempered by mercy, and with all compassion. The ideal Christian kingdom on
                                    earth, while it lasts. That's the dream, anyway, and it is never completely
                                    achieved, and the kingdom is finally destroyed. But the dream of Camelot
                                    lives on, in Avalon, and in all of us who feel the stirrings of the heart
                                    and spirit when we hear that name. That stirring, and the spiritual power of
                                    that name, are very, very real. Camelot is more real than death, because one
                                    day, death will die, and Camelot - or more truly, the Kingdom of which it is
                                    only a pale reflection - will live on forever. Lawhead's story, unlike some
                                    other modern retellings of Arthur, contains that dream of Camelot, and
                                    reading is often a devotional experience for me. I find myself saying "Amen"
                                    a lot. It's a spiritual, specifically Christian story, and makes me remember
                                    why I love Arthur, even when the details of plot and character are
                                    different. I think it's a great example of retelling a story in a way to
                                    honor the story itself. To retell a story, in a way that makes you love the
                                    original story even more, is a beautiful achievement, and makes the
                                    retelling itself better.

                                    I see your point about older "canon" authors versus more (chronologically)
                                    modern ones like Tolkien. You're right, Homer (and Beowulf) are still going
                                    to be taught in high schools, no matter what adaptations are made. Tolkien
                                    has a less secure place, not having had the hundreds or thousands of years
                                    required to establish the same foothold. My high school, which had
                                    previously required all entering freshmen to read THE HOBBIT over the summer
                                    and FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING during the school year, finally quit teaching
                                    Tolkien three years ago. (While I don't know the reasons, I'm sure they had
                                    little to nothing to do with the movies. The teacher who introduced the
                                    teaching of Tolkien, and had been championing the books for twenty years,
                                    loved the movies. I think the other freshmen English teachers, who are
                                    relatively new, just decided it was time for a change and overruled her.)
                                    Re: "stupid" criticism: It's funny how the Odyssey and Beowulf - which, if
                                    they were written today, would be classified as fantasy - can be lauded as
                                    artistic giants of civilization, but Tolkien can be dismissed as immature
                                    escapism and adventure stories for boys. Never mind that Middle-Earth is
                                    more akin to Beowulf than to the mass-market paperbacks with names like "The
                                    Sword of the Dragon" that fill the fantasy shelves. I mentioned earlier that
                                    when I started work last week at a bookstore, ALL the Tolkien was in the
                                    teens/young adults section. None whatsoever in with the adult fiction.
                                    Fortunately, they've been looking for somebody to take over the fantasy
                                    books...

                                    Others have been talking about translations. The one I own is the Seamus
                                    Heaney (which was the one assigned in my Tolkien class in college). I also
                                    have the one in the TOLKIEN FAN'S MEDIEVAL READER. I should get the Heaney
                                    with the Old English on the facing page, which I think would rock. I really
                                    want to study Old English when I go back to grad school (when I can find a
                                    good individualized study program that will let me read a lot of Tolkien,
                                    Lewis, Arthurian legend, and medieval Christian authors!).

                                    Cole


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.