Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary together with Sellic Spell

Beowulf A Translation and Commentary together with Sellic Spell The translation of Beowulf by J R R Tolkien was an early work very distinctive in its mode completed in he returned to it later to make hasty corrections but seems never to have considered its

  • Title: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary together with Sellic Spell
  • Author: Unknown J.R.R. Tolkien Christopher Tolkien
  • ISBN: 9780544442788
  • Page: 335
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The translation of Beowulf by 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 lectThe translation of Beowulf by 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.

    One thought on “Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary together with Sellic Spell”

    1. This book contains Tolkien's scholarship, comments and literary output inspired by Beowulf, one of the oldest and longest surviving poems in Old English. Many readers know and venerate him as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (LOTR). But this is a timely reminder of the academic side of his life.In his prose translation, Tolkien strives to reflect something of the rhythm, cadence and beauty of the original. The comments on the technical aspects of the text, taken from lectures d [...]

    2. 4.5 starsI'm already an admirer of the poem Beowulf (and Old English literature in general) and am also a die-hard Tolkien fan so the fact that I loved this book isn’t perhaps a surprise. I certainly expected to like it when I started, but wasn’t prepared for the fact that it would reveal to me a side of Tolkien of which I was always generally aware, but never gave enough thought to. I refer, of course, to his position as a scholar, and specifically one of Old English language and literature [...]

    3. STRENGTH IS LIFEFor the strong have the right to ruleHONOUR IS LIFEFor with no honour one may as well be deadLOYALTY IS LIFEFor without one’s clan one has no purposeDEATH IS LIFEOne should die as they have lived A hero is someone who steps up when everyone else backs down JRR Tolkien’s distinctive, idiosyncratic translation of the epic, Anglo-Saxon poem shows a simplistic clarity of vision. You can feel everything as though subconsciously you’re a part of the past. [I.e. standing alongside [...]

    4. I'm full of wonder right now. Not so much at the translation of Beowulf -- Tolkien was well-versed in the language and knew what he was doing, and the tone is often reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, which emphasises his attempts to weave his own stories with the old stories of England -- but at all the commentary published together here. Pretty much every issue I considered in my undergraduate class/es on Beowulf is touched on here -- the pagan aspects, the episodes, potential interpolations [...]

    5. The Geat Warrior (not a typo, not Great Warrior, but Geat Warrior), Beowulf does battle with the Demon Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon.Even in translation, this is still a bit challenging to read in spots. Still, it is an exciting tale, and an important piece of literature.No whit do I account myself in my warlike stature a man more despicable in deeds of battle than Grendel doth himself. Therefore I will not with sword give him the sleep of death, although I well could. Nought doth he k [...]

    6. Tolkien made this translation of the most famous extant Anglo Saxon poem early in his career. It's prose which disappointed me when I found out - after purchase! - it is very rhythmical, but I don't suppose it approximates the experience of reading the original very well. Still, I've always liked the story. Flagon thinks the Dragon is hard done by and that everybody (including the Dragon) should have calmed down and discussed the situation properly - that's what he'd have done! Then Beowulf coul [...]

    7. Tolkien’s translation and interpretation of Beowulf in which he stays true to the original tale as said by himself in one of the introductions. Accompanying this is Christopher Tolkien’s commentary which is incredibly explanatory. This would be very helpful to anybody who is studying the tale from an academic perspective and those that are just simply curious as to the historical references. I hate to say it but my only previous experience with this tale was the 2007 movie version appropriat [...]

    8. There is a famous quote about poetry translations that says if a translation is faithful then it is not beautiful and if it is beautiful then it is not faithful. Tolkien's translation of Beowulf is extremely faithful.Tolkien was a scholar of Old English and wrote a paper titled "Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics" which is considered one of the most significant works in Beowulf scholarship. He was of course also the grandfather of all modern Fantasy fiction. These two factors taken together m [...]

    9. It's strange that Tolkien is credited with kickstarting modern scholarship on 'Beowulf,' yet, until now, his translation was unpublished. I've read other translations before, but I don't recall which ones specifically. I followed this reading up directly with the Heaney translation, which is apparently the standard in today's college classes. (It wasn't yet published either, last time I read 'Beowulf.') The Tolkien direct translation is more 'difficult,' but both (I cannot verify, but I got the [...]

    10. Translation: 3/5 stars - prose, a little archaic, good translation of the gist of the text but loses a lot of the imagery and poetryCommentary: 5/5 stars - I learned a lot and it is frightening how much Tolkien knows about this subjectSellic Spell: 4/5 stars - cool retelling, broLay of Beowulf: 3/5 stars - kinda random, leaves a lot out, but a very nice little poem

    11. An amazing addition to Beowulf scholarship. In his commentary on the poem, Tolkien demonstrates the argument of his seminal Beowulf essay: that the poem is best read as a poem, not either as a purely historic document (as it was in his day) nor as a New-historical document (as it too often is in our day). Tolkien's readings keep the poem from fragmenting into a mass of confusion but instead shows it as a work of a variety of interconnected parts: it pulls from historical knowledge and fable/tale [...]

    12. I read "Beowulf" as a child, or perhaps in my early teens, when I found it while staying at my grandparents' house during the summer. I retained some dim memories of the story, mixed up a bit with parts of "Grendel" by John Gardner which I read in high school, but not enough for me to really compare Tolkien's translation to the Burton Raffell version I read, uh, gosh, 35-40 years ago. I can say, however, that reading Tolkien's translation (with notes) is a lot like taking a course in a topic you [...]

    13. I always find it interesting to read Tolkien's ventures outside of Middle Earth but really, reading his most recently released works such as The Fall of Arthur and this, his own translation of the original old english epic, Beowulf, it doesn't feel a world apart from the world Hobbits inhabit. The reason for this is that Tolkien, once a professor of Ango-saxon at Oxford University, was obviously influenced by the literary works he delivered lectures on. His interest in old languages lead him to [...]

    14. This is the second translation I have read on Beowulf and must say I found that it was easier to follow then the first. I enjoy the break down and the reasons given for the word choices and also what the authors thought about ideas that have been spoken on

    15. Beowulf is a unique work in the history of English literature. By chance—or providence—this single Old English tale survives, giving moderns a window into a world, and a language, very different from our own. And yet a culture and language which was our direct antecedent. More than you want to know about this epic poem can be found on .J. R. R. Tolkien undertook this prose translation early (1920s) in his tenure as a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford. The accompanying comm [...]

    16. I read Sellic Spell: The Final Text (pp. 360–86)—Tolkien's "attempt to reconstruct the Anglo-Saxon tale that lies behind the folk-tale element in Beowulf" (p. 355; cf. p. xiii: "an imagined story of Beowulf in an early form")—on July 6, 2016. Surprisingly humorous. Sellic Spell means "wondrous tale" or "strange tale" (p. 358) or "marvellous tale" (p. 348) and is used in Beowulf: "some wondrous tale rehearsed in order due" (p. 74, emphasis added; see p. 349: "It was not just a wild inventio [...]

    17. I do love Tolkien's lectures and notes enclosed to translations, but his translations (both Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight) I find somehow "dry", scholarly accurate and highbrow, hence I endure much to keep attention on lines. The only reason that I gave 5 stars is that after Tolkien's translations, any other translation is mere easy to comprehend and enjoy in. Thus I consider professor's notes and commentary as legit didactic tool 🙂. On the other hand - Christopher Tolkien is sh [...]

    18. I have sometimes heard people remark on the sense of loss that is so prominent in Tolkien's fiction, and wonder where it comes from. It is convenient and probably not incorrect to point to his experiences in World War One and the deaths of all but one of his closest friends by 1918. John Garth's Tolkien and the Great War is a worthwhile read on this score, as is Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory (though he never mentions Tolkien). But if you're familiar with The Lord of the Rings, y [...]

    19. BeowulfMost known for Hobbit and mysterious rings, author JRR Tolkien gives over a translation of an ancient Norse tale while his son Christopher gives some rather informative and interesting tidbits of information. Along with the usual translation and background information JRR gives over his own rendering of the tale.As the story goes a monster named Grendel is  terrorizing King Wrothgars famous hall Heorot. THe Ogre devours people whole. Hearing of  this from the land of the Geats is Beowul [...]

    20. In addition to creating the first fantasy epic, inventing a complete and insanely, thoroughly detailed world, and even making up its own language and alphabet, as well as teaching for decades, the great J. R. R. Tolkien also wrote a translation to the famous epic Old English poem “Beowulf.” Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary edited by his son, Christopher Tolkien, reveals this translation in its entirety for the first time, and so much more.Tolkien completed his first translation of “Be [...]

    21. I had been waiting for someone to publish this for a long time.The translation itself is wonderful, a prose rendering that yet retains some of the poetry and alliteration of Anglo-Saxon verse. The rhythm and drive particularly pick up in the latter third when the dragon enters the tale. I think Seamus Heaney's telling is more to my liking, but this is close on its heels.This book contains some bonuses. "Sellic Spell" is a folk tale rendering of the Grendel and his dam segment of the poem, in str [...]

    22. Plenty to enjoy here for both Tolkien fans & Beowulf fans. The commentary is long, complicated, and very, very in-depth: it's a nice insight into Tolkien-as-professor, instead of the Tolkien-as-writer I think most of us are more familiar with. The "alternative" takes on the story at the end are a nice bonus, as well: "Sellic Spell" is Beowulf retold more like a fairy tale, and two versions of the "The Lay of Beowulf" indicate how Tolkien might have approached a verse translation of the story [...]

    23. Christopher Tolkien has put out a lot of his father's work in recent years; but this is the one. Tolkien spent many years engaged in profound study of this poem and it shaped his fairy-stories of Middle-earth in various profound ways. Most obviously, the chapter in the Two Towers 'The King of the Golden Hall' - in which Gandalf et. al. enter the hall of Theoden, king of Rohan - will never read the same again after you have read also Tolkien on the arrival of Beowulf at Heorot (note especially th [...]

    24. The last few years has seen the release by the Tolkien Estate of several hybrid books that combined original retellings/translations of ancient hero legends (Sigurd, Arthur) with further commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien (on the source material) and Christopher Tolkien (on his father’s work). The latest in this series is Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf, which has perhaps incurred greater interest since outside of his fiction, Tolkien is perhaps best known for his famed essay, “Beowulf: The Mon [...]

    25. Christopher Tolkien, son of J.R.R seems to have gathered up every scrap of paper his father every wrote, and decided to publish it as if it were holy writ. JRR's translation of Beowulf was never intended to be more than classroom notes for his course in Old English. And Christopher acknowledges this in his introduction. However, this translation is deadly dull. The text itself is 92 pages long, the Commentary is 248 pages. Plus 70 more pages of Tolkien writings that could only be of interest to [...]

    26. This book shows the academician in Tolkien, the scholar who is more remembered for his fantasy books, The Lord of the rings. Tolkien isn't overtly loyal to original text as he in places (as commentary) criticizes the content. Its better if the book is read slowly, allowing the words to sink and enjoy the lazy commentary on everything that's going on in the story and the things that are implicit.

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