Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery
Hackett Publishing, 9 mar 2007 - 304
Dick Ringler's deceptively simple translation captures the rhythm, movement, and power of the original Old English poem while employing a fluid modern English style and a relatively spare vocabulary. His generous Introduction, a lively yet masterly guide to the work, along with his translations of three shorter Old English poems elucidate a major English text almost as well-known for its subtlety and intricacy as it is for its monsters and heroes.
"Although an audience of enamored nonspecialists embraced Heaney's version . . . other scholars gave only grudging respect to the poet whose 'Heaneywulf' often seemed to represent an Anglo-Saxon world re-created in the Irish poet's own image. Since 2002 new and revised translations have come and gone, none attracting as much attention as Heaney's. That should change with Ringler's new translation, and not just because scholars such as Tom Shippey, Frederick Rebsamen, and John Niles vouch for it. The proof is in the reading, whether one does so silently or aloud. In his comprehensive, insightful introduction and rhythmic replication of Old English poetry, Ringler offers the specialist what Heaney did not; this is a performative translation that re-creates the world of Beowulf as accurately as may be possible. Accessible and exciting for specialist and nonspecialist alike, this is the edition professors should be using to introduce the venerable poem to a new audience. Summing up: Essential." --A.P. Church, CHOICE
"Ringler has produced a really good translation of the poem, free of Seamus Heaney's quirks and Irishisms, keeping the rhythm and alliteration, and retaining a simplicity which demonstrates how otiose film effects are when the poem is both powerful and moving. The translation is accompanied by a marvelously straightforward introduction, eschewing all modish modern criticism and thus a useful corrective for those student-readers confused by the liberties taken by [Robert Zemeckis'] Beowulf and its writers. Tolkien would have been pleased by Ringler's version." --Carolyne Larrington, The Times Literary Supplement
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alliteration ancient Anglo-Saxon attack battle beginning Beowulf body brought comrades course court Danes Danish dark death Denmark digression dragon dread earth evil example fate father fierce fight followers future gave Geats Germanic gifts give glory going gold Grendel grim hall hand head heard heart Heorot Heremod hero heroic hoard hope Hrothgar human Hygelac important interest iron killed king kinsman known land leader light live look lord mailcoat master means mind monster mother narrative never noble normal Old English once oral original past poem poet poet’s poetry present prince reward Royal seems shield sometimes sorrow speech story strength Swedes sword tell thanes things thought told tradition translation treasure Unferth verses waiting warrior weapon whole Wiglaf wisdom young youth
Strona xciii - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Strona xciii - Wherefore, take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness ; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace...
Strona 176 - Swift to its close ebbs out life's little day ; Earth's joys grow dim, its glories pass away : Change and decay in all around I see ; O thou, who changest not, abide with me.
Strona xcv - ... harpist, to the discourses of the fathers, not to the poems of the heathen. What has Ingeld to do with Christ? Strait is the house ; it will not be able to hold them both. The king of heaven will have no part with so-called kings who are heathen and damned ; for the one king reigns eternally in heaven, the other, the heathen, is damned and groans in hell. In your houses the voices of those who read should be heard, not a rabble of those who make merry in the streets1.
Strona vi - Do not blame me," he prays with a charming simplicity, "if any know Latin better than I, for every man must say what he says and do what he does according to his ability.
Strona xxv - Northumbria , and miserably frightened the inhabitants: these were exceptional flashes of lightning, and fiery dragons were seen flying in the air. A great famine...
Strona xxv - But the great beauty, the real value, of Beowulf is in its dignity of style. In construction it is curiously weak, in a sense preposterous ; for while the main story is simplicity itself, the merest commonplace of heroic legend, all about it, in the historic allusions, there are revelations of a whole world of tragedy, plots different in import from that of Beowulf, more like the tragic themes of Iceland.
Strona xcv - Hinieldus to do with Christ? The house is narrow; it cannot contain them both ; the King of Heaven will have no part with so-called kings who are heathen and damned, for the One King reigns eternally in Heaven, while the other, the heathen, is damned and groans in Hell.
Strona xxv - ... preposterous ; for while the main story is simplicity itself, the merest commonplace of heroic legend, all about it, in the historic allusions, there are revelations of a whole world of tragedy, plots different in import from that of Beowulf, more like the tragic themes of Iceland. Yet with this radical defect, a disproportion that puts the irrelevances in the centre and the serious things on the outer edges, the poem of Beowulf is unmistakably heroic and weighty.
Strona cvii - The earliest English poetry of all, with its crude and unskilled thumping, or creaking, alliteration, echoes the sound of those earthy occupations which accompany the work of foodgetting.