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Beowulf: Tolkien’s translation comes out 88 years later…

A leading expert in work on Middle-Earth, Tolkien built himself a reputation through his passion for the creation of new languages from existing ones. In addition to that…

A leading expert in work on Middle-Earth, Tolkien built himself a reputation through his passion for the creation of new languages from existing ones. In addition to that, Tolkien was also known for his talent as a translator of Anglo-Saxon literary works. Among them: Beowulf.

Published for the first time in the 10th century, Beowulf is one epic poem that has strongly aroused the interest of many people regarding its translation. Tolkien appears to have been among those to have tackled it. In vain, because his work was never published.

Fortunately, the fruit of his hard labors will not go unrewarded because 88 years later (it was about time!), the translation of Beowulf by this great professor from the University of Oxford will finally be published. Its release is scheduled for very soon.

It should be noted in passing that the author of The Hobbit, whose main character is Bilbo Baggins, was not satisfied with his translation of Beowulf. At least that’s what emerges from his comments made at the time, according to which it was not always easy to translate a story and that his translation of Beowulf seemed to have taken away the soul of the story. All the same, it’s a translation that deserves our attention. In any event, this translation remains one of the major sources of inspiration for Tolkien and which was felt in each of his works that followed.

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