Judging by my progress so far tonight, I have not yet found the hole that noveling buried my story mojo in.

That, or having to consult Panlexicon, the OED, or a Latin dictionary — worse case scenario, all three — every sentence or so is killing my forward progress.

Probably both.

I should just write the damn story and worry about the language later, but I hear blood vessels rupturing in all the prose-stylist writers of my acquaintance, at the thought that these two things are separable. Really, I should just write the damn story and give up on the stylistic experiment I’m trying to carry out . . . but where’s the fun in that?

Can anybody recommend a translation of Beowulf that sounds as much like the original as possible? I don’t want accessibility here; I want the linguistic knack I had back when I was translating pages of Old Norse every week, for making my English flow in different patterns. But my Norse is too rusty, and this is supposed to be Anglo-Saxon anyway. Any Anglo-Saxon text would work, I suppose; I just keep turning to Beowulf because it’s the only one I know.

0 Responses to “grrrr”

  1. neutronjockey

    Is this what (or something like) you’re asking for?

    The intro is lengthy…but if you geek on the reasons behind the rhyme in the transliteration of…

    (and you do, admit it!)

    • Marie Brennan

      Hot damn! With bonus facing text action!

      Poifect. May not solve any of my problems, but that is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind.

    • Marie Brennan

      It does have one flaw, actually, which is a tendency to turn to Latinate words in the translation. (I’d prefer “waxed” to “flourished,” frex.) But still: very helpful.

  2. khyros

    Hi There! Referred by

    As you may know/remember I did my thesis on Beowulf and ran through a LOT of translations, not in whole, but I focused on a few passages. You might have some interest in Slade’s.

    As I recall, there’s an adherence to something in the diction that I like about his. Not sure about how good he is about adhering to word roots (though he follows your route in the example you picked out).

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