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Beowulf.

BEOWULF, Seamus Heaney, tr. 2000/2004. Read by George Guidali. 4 tapes. 4.25 hrs. Recorded Books. 1-4025-8177-7 $29.75. Vinyl; plot, reader notes. SA

As Nobel Laureate, poet, translator and educator Heaney explains on cassette four, which details his involvement with this classic epic, Beowulf was once of interest only to academics. They pored tediously over it in Old English to follow the evolution of the language and track and document the Swedish and Danish strongholds within early England. It took a 1936 essay by J.R.R. Tolkien for people to recognize that Beowulf was also a seminal piece of creative fiction. The poem is now a staple for university English majors, and excerpts are anthologized in texts for the secondary student as well.

Heaney's modern translation takes some liberties with the original poetic form, resulting in word choices that further the action rather than force a metrical or alliterative scheme. The result is an accessible and surprisingly contemporary dark tale of monsters and mayhem, of fate and faith, and of a hero who is as generous and moral as he is brave and foredoomed. Guidall, an experienced reader of modern fantasy epics, performs with all the drama and passion a serious work in this genre merits. Francine Levitov, Attorney, New York, NY
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Author:Levitov, Francine
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:215
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