Stories & Soliloquies

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Although I am still working my way through my last syllabus, I’m excited that my book club is reading Beowulf this fall. I’ve decided to make the most of this chance to talk about Beowulf with a wonderful group of intelligent readers by setting myself a larger project. I’d love to get a better sense of the language and the context from which Beowulf, and though I won’t get to this project for some time, I couldn’t resist sharing it here.

First, there is the story itself.

1. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition), by Seamus Heaney.

Heaney’s translation is widely considered the best, most exciting new translation, and as such is a great starting point. I also love any translation with the original text on the left-hand side.

2. Beowulf, a Translation and Commentary, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Of course, with Tolkien’s new translation out…

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