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Beowulf

by Beowulf Poet

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,087324129 (3.81)4 / 825
Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters, then returns to rule his people for 50 years, ultimately losing his life in a battle to defend the Geats from a dragon's rampage.
  1. 254
    Grendel by John Gardner (lyzadanger, sweetandsyko, sturlington)
    lyzadanger: Stunning prose from the point of view of the monster.
    sturlington: Grendel is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster's pov.
  2. 160
    The Iliad by Homer (benmartin79)
  3. 142
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Gawain Poet (OwenGriffiths, chrisharpe)
    OwenGriffiths: If you like Old/Middle English texts translated by great poets...
  4. 144
    The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien (benmartin79)
  5. 112
    Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton (PaulRackleff)
    PaulRackleff: Michael Crichton had written "Eaters of the Dead" as a means to show Beowulf's story value. The character names and plot line are very similar. Though Crichton changed some elements to make it more interesting than just a copy of Beowulf.
  6. 101
    Nibelungenlied by Anonymous (Weasel524)
    Weasel524: Embodies and champions the same spirit/ideals commonly shared by norse mythology, scandanavian sagas, and northern germanic folklore. Significantly longer and different in structure, should that be of concern
  7. 101
    The Icelandic Sagas by Magnus Magnusson (BGP)
  8. 82
    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Pearl / Cleanness / Patience by A. C. Cawley (OwenGriffiths)
  9. 71
    The Táin by Táin author (BGP)
  10. 61
    The Sagas of Icelanders by Örnólfur Thorsson (chrisharpe)
  11. 40
    The First Poems in English (Penguin Classics) by Michael Alexander (octothorp)
  12. 74
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
    moonstormer: the short story in Fragile Things - Monarch of the Glen - is very related to Beowulf and could be seen as an interesting commentary.
  13. 31
    The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley (Cecrow)
  14. 00
    Beowulf by Benjamin Bagby (gwernin)
  15. 00
    Understanding Beowulf As an Indo-European Epic: A Study in Comparative Mythology by Earl R. Anderson (questionablepotato)
  16. 14
    Opened Ground: Poems 1966–1996 by Seamus Heaney (JessamyJane)
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» See also 825 mentions

English (305)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Tagalog (1)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (313)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
Really good. Makes me want to learn the original language. ( )
  kslade | Nov 29, 2022 |
Of all the Beowulf translations I have read (five?) this is my favorite. And it starts with the very first word: "So". ( )
  Jeffrey_G | Nov 22, 2022 |
They revel non-fiction paper by fiction. just they still believe In mythical but said us prejudice. ( )
  Azmir_Fakir | Oct 31, 2022 |
Pretty essential, honestly.

It turns out the poem[1] is less about what you think it is, than it's about masculinity, grief, virtue, aging, and powerlessness[2].

Also, it's really funny in that it surprises you with language choices. I highly recommend treating the prologue as an epilogue, in that it occasionally ruins the surprise of the translation. The modernisms read[3] as jarringly funny, bringing the story not just up to date, but up to this moment in which masculinity is in cultural flux.

It is literally impossible for me to recommend it highly enough, as I am listening to it again immediately after the first time.
________________________

[1] Of sorts. Headley makes clear by way of the text that Old English is more about alliteration and internal rhyme rather than end-of-line rhyme schemes.

[2] Of men. The women are notably more important here than in other translations, even if they are given short shrift in lines of prose.

[3] Or sound. The JD Jackson performance on the Audible book is exceptional. ( )
  danieljensen | Oct 14, 2022 |
Okay, I had absolutely no prior experience with the Beowulf story somehow before this book. I knew there was a monster? That the original was Old English and it took place in the North? That was really somehow it. I'd always intended to read the Seamus Heaney translation someday, but when I heard there was a radical new (feminist?) translation out there, I impulsively bought a copy.

I had a lot of fun with this. I loved the swagger and the Bro! of it. I have spent some serious tie thinking about whether I could censor out the incest on the fly and read this aloud for family story time. I think this would be so much fun to read out loud. There is so much alliteration and rhythm and other good fun stuff to sink my teeth into. I am sure this translation wouldn't be for everyone, but it did certainly work for me! ( )
  greeniezona | Oct 9, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
At the beginning of the new millennium, one of the surprise successes of the publishing season is a 1,000-year-old masterpiece. The book is ''Beowulf,'' Seamus Heaney's modern English translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic, which was created sometime between the 7th and the 10th centuries.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Mel Gussow (Mar 29, 2000)
 
Translation is not mainly the work of preserving the hearth -- a necessary task performed by scholarship -- but of letting a fire burn in it.
added by danielx | editNew York Times, Richard Eder (Feb 2, 2000)
 

» Add other authors (63 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beowulf Poetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rebsamen, Frederick R.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Michael J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, Sarah M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baskin, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bolton, W. F.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Botkine, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brunetti, GiuseppeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chickering, Howell D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark-Hall, John RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collinder, BjörnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley Holland, KevinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dean, RobertsonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Donaldson, E. T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Earle, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ettmüller, Ernst Moritz LudwigTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flynn, BenedictTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gordon, Robert KayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grein, Christian Wilhelm MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grion, GiustoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grundtvig, Nicolas Frederic SeverinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gummere, Francis BartonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hall, John LesslieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Headley, Maria DahvanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heaney, SeamusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoffmann, P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hube, Hans-JürgenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kemble, John M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirtlan, Ernest J. B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, FredericIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehmann, Ruth P. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lehnert, MartinEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonard, William ElleryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lumsden, H. W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magnusson, MagnusIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McNamara, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morris, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekonen, OsmoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffel, BurtonTranslation and Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, SueProducersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaldemose, FrederikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simons, L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Simrock, KarlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steineck, H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swanton, MichaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, BeccaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tinker, Chauncey BrewsterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wackerbarth, A. DiedrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, LyndIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wickberg, RudolfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
William Ellery LeonardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolpe, BertholdCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wolzogen, Hans vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wrenn, C.L.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wright, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, A. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dedication
In memory of Ted Hughes

Seamus Heaney (1999)
To Kate, Julie, and Ben
For Brian and Blake

Burton Raffel (1963)
In memory of Joseph and Winifred Alexander

Michael Alexander (1973)
For Grimoire William Gwenllian Headley,
who gestated alongside this book,
changing the way I thought about love, bloodfeuds,
woman-warriors, and wyrd.

Maria Dahvana Headley (2020)
First words
Hwæt we gardena in geardagum þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
Preface

This book is meant to make Beowulf available as poetry who have not studied Old English (Anglo-Saxon) before and to those who have only a rudimentary knowledge of it.
Bro! Tell me we still know how to speak of kings! In the old days,
everyone knew what men were: brave, bold, glory-bound.

(translated by Maria Dahvana Headley, 2020)
Introduction

Beowulf is written in the unrhymed four-beat alliteratie meter of Old English poetry.
Of the strength of the Spear-Danes in days gone by we have heard, and of their hero-kings: the prodigious deeds those princes perfomed!

(translated by Stephen Mitchell, 2017)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Disambiguation notice
This work is any complete, unabridged translation of Beowulf. The Seamus Heaney translation is not a separate work from the other complete, unabridged translations. To quote the FAQ on combining - "A work brings together all different copies of a book, regardless of edition, title variation, or language."

Based on currently accepted LibraryThing convention, the Norton Critical Edition is treated as a separate work, ostensibly due to the extensive additional, original material included.
ISBN: 0060573783 9780060573782
Please see the LT Combiners' discussion at http://www.librarything.com/topic/508... before combining the Howell Chickering translation of Beowulf with other editions of the original work on LT. Thank you.
This is NOT an abridged edition. DO NOT combine with the abridged edition by Crossley-Holland or any other abridged edition.
Reserve this for dual-language texts (Anglo-Saxon and modern English) regardless of translator.
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC
Beowulf first rescues the royal house of Denmark from two marauding monsters, then returns to rule his people for 50 years, ultimately losing his life in a battle to defend the Geats from a dragon's rampage.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Fear falls on the hall:
monster meets match in hero;
mother waits at home.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393320979, 0393330109

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140449310, 0451530969, 0141194871

University of Texas Press

An edition of this book was published by University of Texas Press.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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