Seamus Heaney's translation of "Beowulf" is a work that is both true to the original poem and an expression of something fundamental to Heaney's own creative gift. One of the great classics of European Literature, the poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, being exhausted by it and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed, in that exhausted aftermath. There are obvious parallels to be found in the history of the twentieth century and Heaney's "Beowulf" cannot fail to be read partly in the light of his Northern Irish upbringing. But it also transcends such considerations, revealing psychological and spiritual truths that are both permanent and liberating.
About the author
SEAMUS HEANEY was born in County Derry, Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first book, appeared in 1966, and since then he has published poetry, criticism and translations. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. BEOWULF wonthe 1999 Whitbread Book of the Year Award.
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