Harking back to my Belated Announcement...A joyful development from last week!:
Not quite the usual A Round of Words in 80 Days update I suppose...
"Beowulf is is the longest epic poem in Old English, and is dated to the early 11th century. It survives in a single manuscript, housed at the British Library, and has inspired countless retellings of the myth - recently and famously by the late Seamus Heaney, whose translation won him the Whitbread book of year award in 1999.
Tolkien himself called the story 'laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination', saying that 'the whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real'.
Although the author completed his own translation in 1926, he 'seems never to have considered its publication', said Christopher Tolkien today, announcing the Tolkien estate's new deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary on 22 May. The book, edited by Christopher Tolkien, will also include the series of lectures Tolkien gave at Oxford about the poem in the 1930s, as well as the author's 'marvellous tale', Sellic Spell.
Tolkien's 'creative attention to detail' in his lectures gives rise to a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision', said his son. '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.'
Tolkien also closely considers the dragon which would slay Beowulf, writing of how the beast was 'snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup' – an image reminiscent of his own thief Bilbo Baggins, sneaking into the lair of the dragon Smaug in The Hobbit – but, said his son, the author '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,' said Christopher Tolkien.
Beowulf opens 'Hwæt w GrDena in gar-dagum / Þod-cyninga þrym gefrnon, / H p æþelingas ellen fremedon', lines which were translated by Heaney as 'So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by / and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness. / We have heard of those princes' heroic campaigns.'
The opening, Hwæt, has long foxed scholars, with translations ranging from Heaney's 'so' to 'lo', 'hark', 'behold', 'attend' and 'listen'. HarperCollins would not comment on how Tolkien approached Beowulf's famous opening, but all will be revealed come May."
"CAPPUCCINO, LATTE, FLAT WHITE, MACCHIATO – WITH OR WITHOUT CREAM, SPRINKLED WITH CHOCOLATE, A DASH OF VANILLA OR PINCH OF CINNAMON... BARISTAS IN EVERY CORNER OF THE WORLD, HUNCHED OVER GLEAMING MACHINES, HAVE A GIFT FOR INVENTING ORIGINAL COFFEE RECIPES. Every culture has its own speciality: from the Portuguese galão – one part espresso to three parts hot milk, served in a glass – to the Hong Kong style yuanyang – three parts Arabica, plus seven parts milky tea. Amidst all these subtly different national drinks, where does Switzerland fit in? Alongside Nespresso, milk is a national treasure. It goes without saying that these two Swiss perfections are made for one another. Even better, Switzerland has long boasted a traditional blend of coffee and hot milk – despite being less well known abroad.Sometimes they serve it with a little square of chocolate, but I'd already eaten the chocolate by the time I thought to take a photo!
This drink is known as a renversé in the French-speaking parts, die Schale in German-speaking Switzerland or macchiato lungo in the Ticino area.
The secret behind the recipe is, as the name suggests, a reversal of the proportions of coffee and milk – 40% coffee and 60% milk."
"It was additionally disconcerting to have madame knitting all the way there, in a public conveyance; it was additionally disconcerting yet, to have madame in the crowd in the afternoon, still with her knitting in her hands as the crowd waited to see the carriage of the King and Queen."
Cast on 34 stitchesKnit 2, *Purl 1, wrap yarn over, Purl 2 together, Knit 1*Repeat ** to endAll rows are the same, repeat to desired scarf lengthCast off