Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Ok, it's been months, and my Tolkien book was finally published today, so I should update my blog. And I saw the Two Towers, so if I still have any readers besides family members, you might want to know about that, too.

First, the Tolkien Book. It's called Beowulf and the Critics, and was written by Tolkien in the 1930's. From it he drew his celebrated British Academy lecture, "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics." The book I edited was donated to the Bodleian Library by Christopher Tolkien. The Tolkien Estate gave me permission to edit it a number of years ago, and after publication delays, etc., it is finally out. I think it will be of interest to almost anyone who is interested in Tolkien's overall life's work, of which his scholarship was a very important part. You will need to read Beowulf first, to understand what is going on. Seamus Heaney's translation is famous, and a great poem, but it's really a modern poem based on Beowulf rather than a straight translation. Roy Liuzza's edition is closer to the original (and very nicely done). Or you could just learn Old English from my on-line Grammar Book and then read the poem for yourself.

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