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Title: Review of 'Beowulf: A New Translation for Oral Delivery' By Dick Ringler: (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA: Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., 2007). Pp. cxiii, 188. ISBN 978 0 87220 893 (pbk); ISBN 978 0 87220 894 0 (cloth). [Distributed in Australia by Academic Marketing UNIREPS/ UNSW Press]
Contributor(s): Ryan, John Sprott (author)
Publication Date: 2008
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Abstract: This recent and heroic ballad-lament version of the Old English epic, 'Beowulf' must rank alongside the Clark Hall version, as magnificently revised by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1940, and reprinted several times since. Like that subtly rhythmic prose version, this is a scholar's successful attempt to capture for those knowing no/ little Old English the style, idioms, nuances and movement of the original. For, like J.R.R. Tolkien - long (1924-1945) the Bosworth-Toiler professor of Anglo-Saxon in the University of Oxford, Dick Ringler is a much admired professor (now Emeritus) of English and Scandinavian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. What he has attempted is a rhythmic entrapment of the original epic's half-lines in 6364 short lines (equivalent to the original's own half lines) in a deceptively simple translation. This present version captures the rhythm, movement and power of the original in a flowing modern style with a seemingly simple, but remarkably powerful vocabulary, thus offering a whole that begs declamation aloud and is certain to enchant all who hear it. Already enthused responses - both scholarly and lay - refer to its lucidity, rhythm, changes of pace, and insistent need to be read aloud and savoured.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Australian Folklore, v.23, p. 252-253
Publisher: Australian Folklore Association
Place of Publication: University of New England, Australia
ISSN: 0819-0852
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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