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* R.I.P., Mary Stewart (17 September, 1916 – 9 May, 2014), best known for her Merlin series of Arthurian fantasy novels: Mythopoeic Award winners The Crystal Cave (1970) and The Hollow Hills (1973), followed by The Last Enchantment. Read more from The New York Times: "Mary Stewart, British Writer Who Spanned Genres, Dies at 97."

* Is Tolkien's translation of Beowulf better than Seamus Heaney's? From Katy Waldman at Slate: "The Don’s Don: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Beowulf translation finally arrives."

* I should mention again that scholar Michael Drout has written a most enlightening blog post clarifying his work with Tolkien's Beowulf papers, etc.: "Tolkien's Beowulf: The Real Story."

And here's some amazing street art, a tribute to The Professionals.

The Professionals ~ Gatecrasher Fence


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 21st, 2014 01:02 pm (UTC)
Very sad to hear of Mary Stewart's passing, but what a long life she had! I read many of her books, put in particular loved her Merlin series, even before I discovered Tolkien! I shall read it again now, in her honor. Reading the article you linked, I see there is a book I didn't know about that is connected to the Arthurian tales, I'll have to go look for that!
May. 24th, 2014 01:09 pm (UTC)
She did have a long life, and a very influential one, too! I love your idea of rereading the Merlin series again in her honor. That's a great idea. Note to self...
(Deleted comment)
May. 24th, 2014 01:30 pm (UTC)
I think those expecting a poetic reading ala Heaney will be disappointed, but then, Tolkien was a linguist and he was doing a translation for the purpose of studying the original Old English.

Great points!

I agree with you about Heaney, too. I'm looking forward to reading Tolkien's more accurate version, with the understanding that he never intended it for publication. I'd rather have more authentic content/meaning than poetry, honestly.

I'm rather fond of Greenfields' "A Readable Beowulf" and if you haven't heard Julian Glover's performance of it, go buy it online immediately.

Oh wow! Thanks so much for the recommendation. I will track down Julian Glover's recording ASAP!
May. 21st, 2014 07:51 pm (UTC)
I like the street art :-)
May. 24th, 2014 01:11 pm (UTC)
Me, too! :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )