Tuesday, March 7, 1995


by anonymous
8th-11th century AD
translated by Burton Raffel

The edition I read also had a lengthy afterword by Robert P. Creed. The poem itself was great stuff, epic in the Homeric sense, full of lengthy monologues and side stories in the midst of bloody action. It was also surprisingly subtle (for instance, the contrast of Beowulf's personality from the Grendel stage to the dragon-slaying, elderly stage). Raffel's intro was basically an ad for the poem, while Creed's essay was first an ad for Raffel's translation (and he made a great case for its quality), and in its second part an interesting description of the style, intent and ability of the historical poem-singers of sixth century England.

four stars

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