Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Top ten English translations

Adam Thorpe is a poet, playwright and novelist...and a translator of Madame Bovary.

One of his top ten English translations, as told to the Guardian:
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney

Heaney's magnificent rendering of the earliest English epic has its roots, ironically, in his Northern Irish background: its local voices enabled him to "find the tuning fork … the note and pitch for the overall music of the work". The result is pitch-perfect. My grisly memories of university days ploughing over Old English assignments have been banished.
Read about the other translations on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue