A new, deforming version of the Beowulf translation has just been begun. A short rationale is given there & repeated below:

This is a new more experimental version I am trying to work out, & managed to get some lines spat out. The idea is that there are around 50 “straight” versions out there you can find, so there exists a bit of space for a more whimsical rendering of sense that deforms what we understand as the “original”. I have not keyed this to the lines of that text, but the paragraph breaks are roughly the same as the accompanying more literal translation on this page. Some lines are the same, reaching the same abstraction I was looking for.

The basic idea is that what we understand as the poetic text of Beowulf is much too compromised by later English imperializing ideas of what text looks and sounds like as a poem (how do we know the early English understood poetry the same way we do?), and its message of national and individual celebration too imbrued with our culture’s needs to laud power and heroes.

If see what I’m trying to do here & you have constructive criticism, please leave them in the comments. Many will hate it, and that’s unavoidable.


  • Where can we see this new version?
    What puzzles me is why did Beowulf, the renown warrior and hero, fail to kill Grendel outright? The limb is pulled off and displayed and the monster dies out on the moor.
    I believe an answer to this riddle of Grendel will resonate with the answer to a riddle about the dragon, if my researches hold up to scrutiny.

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