Beowulf and the critics

Front Cover
Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 461 pages
1 Review
The most important essay in the history of Beowulf scholarship, J.R.R. Tolkien's ("Beowulf. The Monsters and the Critics") has, rightly, been much studied and discussed. But scholars of both Beowulf and Tolkien have to this point been unaware that Tolkien's essay was a redaction of a much longer and more substantial work, Beowulf and the Critics, which Tolkien rote in the 1930's and probably delivered as a series of Oxford lectures. This critical edition of Beowulf and Critics presents both unpublished versions of Tolkien's lecture ('A and B') each substantially different from the other and from the final, published essay. The edition includes a description of the manuscript, complete textual and explanatory notes, and a detailed critical introduction that explains the place of Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon scholarship both in the history of Beowulf scholarship and in literary history. Readers can see what Tolkien really thought about previous Beowulf critics but was too circumspect to publish, and they can also follow the development of Tolkien's thought about Beowulf from rather inchoate impressions to the logical and rhetorical brilliance of the published lecture.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - EowynA - LibraryThing

This book analyzes Tolkien's essay "The Monsters and the Critics". It goes into detail about the process he went through to create that essay, providing a fascinating insight into how Tolkien arrived at the ideas and even the wording he used. Somewhat heavy going for the general reader. Read full review

Contents

Seeds Soil and Northern
1
Beowulf The Critics A
31
AText
147
Copyright

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2002)

A writer of fantasies, Tolkien, a professor of language and literature at Oxford University, was always intrigued by early English and the imaginative use of language. In his greatest story, the trilogy The Lord of the Rings (1954--56), Tolkien invented a language with vocabulary, grammar, syntax, even poetry of its own. Though readers have created various possible allegorical interpretations, Tolkien has said: "It is not about anything but itself. (Certainly it has no allegorical intentions, general, particular or topical, moral, religious or political.)" In The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962), Tolkien tells the story of the "master of wood, water, and hill," a jolly teller of tales and singer of songs, one of the multitude of characters in his romance, saga, epic, or fairy tales about his country of the Hobbits. Tolkien was also a formidable medieval scholar, as attested to by, among other works, Beowulf: The Monster and the Critics (1936) and his edition of Anciene Wisse:English Text of the Anciene Riwle. Hos latest work, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún, was never before published. It was written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920's and 1930's before The Lord of the Rings.