Beowulf: A Translation And Commentary

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Beowulf: A Translation And Commentary

by Jrr Tolkien
Editor Christopher Tolkien

Harpercollins (uk) | May 21, 2014 | Hardcover

Beowulf: A Translation And Commentary is rated 4 out of 5 by 1.

The translation ofBeowulfby J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication.

This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.

From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel''s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf "snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup"; but he rebuts the notion that this is "a mere treasure story", "just another dragon tale". He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is "the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history" that raises it to another level. "The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ''treasure'' is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination."

Sellic Spell, a "marvellous tale", is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the "historical legends" of the Northern kingdoms.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.6 in

Published: May 21, 2014

Publisher: Harpercollins (uk)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0007590067

ISBN - 13: 9780007590063

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

save 37%

  • In stock online

$23.09  ea

Online Price

$34.99 List Price

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Item can only be shipped in Canada

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome take on Beowulf I bought this book a couple weeks ago while on vacation and it was a terrific read. I especially enjoyed being able to read along to tolkien's translation with the commentary. My favourite part of these works were the two versions of sellic spell and the poems written by tolkien at the end of the book. Definitely recommend picking this work up, especially if you're a fan of tolkien's work. You won't regret it.
Date published: 2014-08-29

– More About This Product –

Beowulf: A Translation And Commentary

by Jrr Tolkien
Editor Christopher Tolkien

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.6 in

Published: May 21, 2014

Publisher: Harpercollins (uk)

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0007590067

ISBN - 13: 9780007590063

From the Publisher

The translation ofBeowulfby J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication.

This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.

From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel''s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf "snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup"; but he rebuts the notion that this is "a mere treasure story", "just another dragon tale". He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is "the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history" that raises it to another level. "The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ''treasure'' is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination."

Sellic Spell, a "marvellous tale", is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the "historical legends" of the Northern kingdoms.

About the Author

J.R.R. TOLKIENis best known forThe HobbitandThe Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 60 languages worldwide. He died in 1973 at the age of 81.

CHRISTOPHER TOLKIENis the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself to the publication of his father''s unpublished writings, notablyThe SilmarillionandThe History of Middle-earth.