domenica 8 giugno 2014

Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, l'inedito di Tolkien in versione deluxe, 2014

Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
di J.R.R. Tolkien
A cura di Christopher Tolkien
HarperCollins, London, 2014
Rilegato con cofanetto

Dopo ottantotto anni dalla sua stesura, la traduzione di J.R.R. Tolkien in inglese moderno del “Beowulf” è stata pubblicata per la prima volta dall’editore inglese HarperCollins e curata da suo figlio, Christopher.
La traduzione, infatti, fu completata nel 1926 nel periodo in cui al Pembroke College dell’Università di Oxford insegnava letteratura anglosassone ma Tolkien scelse di non pubblicare mai le pagine manoscritte conservate alla Bodleian Library di Oxford.

“The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.
From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.
But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf "snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup"; but he rebuts the notion that this is "a mere treasure story", "just another dragon tale". He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is "the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history" that raises it to another level. "The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ‘treasure’ is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination."
Sellic spell, a "marvellous tale", is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the "historical legends" of the Northern kingdoms.”

- Christopher Tolkien



Introduction to the Translation


Notes on the text of the Translation

Introductory note to the Commentary


Sellic Spell

The Lay of Beowulf

All'interno, il drago disegnato da Tolkien che cela...

... un foglio doppio con due disegni di Tolkien con due versioni di "Grendel's Mere".
Piccola curiosità, il volume è stato stampato dalla italiana L.E.G.O. s.p.a.

Questi i volumi della serie deluxe dell'HarperCollins. A partire da sinistra:
The Hobbit; Cofanetto con The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion e The Children of Hurin; Tales from the Perilous Realm; The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun; The Fall of Arthur; Unifinished Tales e l'ultimo arrivato Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.

In questa foto le tre pubblicazioni inglesi che riportano il drago disegnato da Tolkien:
Drawings by Tolkien, The Hobbit deluxe (Allen and Unwin) e Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary deluxe e hardcover.