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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2012

Hugh Magennis
Affiliation:
Queen's University Belfast
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Summary

When I came to Queen's University in Belfast as an undergraduate in 1966 one of our lecturers in the first year was a Mr Seamus Heaney. 1966 was the year that Heaney published Death of a Naturalist, though I was not aware of that at the time. Mr Heaney was a young lecturer with thoughtful and interesting ideas about modern poetry. I particularly remember him giving lectures on Eliot and Frost.

After the first year I specialized as much as possible in medieval studies on my English degree and didn't come across Heaney much. The key teachers who guided me were two very different figures but they made an effective and complementary team. One was the no-nonsense Scot John Braidwood, an oldstyle philologist who seemed to have a detailed knowledge of the history of every word you could think of; as well as Old English, he had a special interest in the English language in Ulster. The other was one of Tipperary's finest, Éamonn Ó Carragáin, who was equally as inspirational as Braidwood, but in a different way. Ó Carragáin's enthusiasm for Beowulf was exceeded only by his enthusiasm for The Dream of the Rood. Both men were intellectually generous, and modest, and, despite all the other delights of English language and literature, they made Old English seem to me the most exciting part of the curriculum.

Heaney has written eloquently of the influence that John Braidwood had on him as a student, a few years before me, and of how that influence eventually fed into his 1999 translation of Beowulf, one of the major translations to be discussed in this book.

Type
Chapter
Information
Translating 'Beowulf'
Modern Versions in English Verse
, pp. vii - viii
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2011

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  • Preface
  • Hugh Magennis, Queen's University Belfast
  • Book: Translating 'Beowulf'
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
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  • Preface
  • Hugh Magennis, Queen's University Belfast
  • Book: Translating 'Beowulf'
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Hugh Magennis, Queen's University Belfast
  • Book: Translating 'Beowulf'
  • Online publication: 12 September 2012
Available formats
×