Tolkien's Beowulf: Not A Good Translation?

A scholar named Andy Orchard says that Tolkien's Beowulf was probably never meant to be published:
Orchard is the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at the University of Oxford, the same position held by Tolkien from from 1925 to 1945....

Orchard calls the published version of Beowulf by Tolkien “a horrible, horrible, horrible translation” one that the English scholar never imagined would be published. The translation was made by Tolkien in the 1920s and intended it to be “crib notes” that was to be used by students he was teaching at Oxford.... Still, this edition of Beowulf, which was posthumously published over forty years after Tolkien’s death, is very valuable to scholars according to Orchard. He calls the end notes offered with the text “brilliant” and something that can be very useful to those who are studying the poem.
Orchard's interested, of course, in that he has his own translation he'd like you to buy. There's an excerpt at the link.

1 comment:

Ymar Sakar said...

I usually try to follow the money trail in these cases. It provides more interesting background analysis.