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an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
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Categories: British, Medieval, Old English / Anglo Saxon, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Paperback (208 pages)
(Pub. Sep 2018)
eBook (EPUB) Needs ADE!
(Pub. Sep 2018)
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Any translation is a reading. Chris McCully reads Beowulf as an epic written in English using all the complex metrical conventions of its time, as well as distinctive epic tropes including sea-crossings, oracular pronouncements and encounters with the monstrous. This version renders the original in readable contemporary English but also keeps as close as it can to the older, alliterative metrical system, so that readers may experience something of the textures and formal properties of the original. An ‘Afterword’ explains the translator’s formal choices and explores the nature of this epic, with its emphasis on tribe, location and mortality. ‘McCully captures the special magic and power of the Beowulf poet’s word-pile and life-thoughts.’ (Martin Duffell, Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London)
'His verse is crisp and propulsive... At its best, McCully's translation is clear and readable, hitting the beats of Old English metre, and offering punchy phrases'
Caroline Batten and Charles Tolkien-Gillet, Translation and Literature
'This is a commendable and exhilarating book, McCully admirably bringing to life the world of honour, weirdness and creatures beyond our ken.'
Anthony Clay, Chase
Praise for Chris McCully 'McCully gets the life of words, their swing and weight, resonance and cadence. The poems spark with great lines and phrases...'
Literary Review 'This is a singular collection from a singular voice in English poetry, and I highly commend it.'
Phillip Quinlan, Angle
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