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Brumie, don't feel you have to go too far ahead in the actual reading of the poem. Well my kids read Beowulf in High School Senior Lit Class as I remember.
We'll break it down and go slowly so as not to miss anything! I remember laughing with my daughter as she tried to match the translated English to the Old English.
Does the Anglo-Saxon Old English resembele at all any of today's Scandinavian languages? He finally put it aside when he realized that he wasn't able to really get into it, couldn't capture the melody of it.
, over there in the lurkers corner with Carolyn..Brumie. It won the Whitbread Prize last year, I think it was. He was invited by Norton Anthology of English Literature to translate Beowulf in 1980, while he was teaching at Harvard. He says he always thought the voice was "direct" and it wasn't until he realized it was the voice of his own Irish father's family, "the big-voiced Scullions" that he felt when reading Beowulf.
The diacritics include acute accents (over the vowels a, e, i, o, u, y) to mark length or to indicate distinct phonemes, and the diaresis (umlaut) combined with o to create the separate letter ? The letters _ ("thorn") and _ ("eth") derive from the Anglo-Saxon/Latin alphabet and mark respectively the unvoiced and voiced "th" common to English and Icelandic. Brought back some memories: I took Old English lit in the original language in university; and Beowulf was one of the things we read. Lastly, I read the Heaney version when it came out. This will be a very rich discussion indeed, with you AND the prof aboard. And you now know so much about Beowulf after having read it 4 times. It seems that most critics believe Beowulf is divided in two different ways. The hard cover Heaney has nice large font, and yes, the Old English right beside the modern, as a constant reminder that the thing is really old.
Of course that was so long ago that I can't remember much about it. I prefer the Heaney version (can't really call it a translation) but 4 times is my maximum for Beowulf. (Still think I'll skip the Old English reading myself, but am open to persuasion.) Take a look at the opening lines of Beowulf and you'll see what I mean! Is there anyway we can persuade you to drop in and chat with us...while you concentrate more heavily on Shakespeare? I don't know about you, but I find the contrast between the young and the old to be more interesting ~ probably because these things interest me more now. I hope to get some serious Beowulf reading done this long weekend. You weren't far off thinking it was Nordic, as the setting in the epic is 6th century Denmark (or Norway, Carolyn?
The paperback contains some wonderful essays..sure if the hardcover has the one by J. "It has been thought that the Latin epic, especially the Aeneid, is perceptible in Beowulf..only in the exciting of emulation, of the development of the long and studied poem in early England. Which tells us that this epic has a sort of fairy-tale element, as did Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Memory is very dim, so dim that this may as well be the first time I've read it. Anyway, he/she is there and that's a third character.
There is a likeness in places between these greater and lesser things, the Aeneid and Beowulf, if they are read in conjunction."I'll be there but it will be "in the shadow." Beowulf is totally new to me. I also remember that the boys dug in way back in school (though not my son #1.) That tells me there is some sort of gore..war action.
In Latin Club I guess these kids just made up their own accents.I asked what he remembered about it, whether he liked it. Maryal and I pledge that this will not be our(your) reaction when we get through with this discussion!Andrea has asked which translation Maryal and I recommend.The hardcover, as Maryal point out, has the Old English on one side and the Modern Translation along side. I love languages, love to sound out and look for familiar roots, etc. The Old English is something that I will not in the near future be spending time on. Old English even had a few letters we don't have anymore, like thorn which represented the "th" sound and looked something like a P with an extra line.There is a great Introduction, Family tree and notes in the hardcover too. Since that is the only difference between the two versions, I bought the paperback. I'm not describing that very well, and I don't seem to have a thorn on my keyboard. How long do you think it will be before we can draw on these discussion boards?