Friday, November 02, 2007

B-Dubya...First Impressions, Fifth Time Around

So I pick up the book. Read the first paragraph. It goes like this:
Hwaet we Gar-Dena in gear-dagum
beod-cyninga prym gefrunon,
ju oa aepelingas ellen fremedon
At which point I go Whoa. I would have bet my life that-and I'm giving it to you from memory--the first lines of Beowulf were:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in need of a wife.
Also, who the hell is Ellen Fremedon? I might have dated her in high school. And where is Antonio Banderas? I see no mention.

So. I'm set back a pace, what with the Old English staring me in the face. Then I look to my right and see that, on the facing page, appears Mr. Haney's translation. Leafing ahead, I see this is a pattern that persists throughout. And the first stanza goes like:
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.

Man, I love that as a starter.

My father once told me that if he got bored with a book he only read the pages on the right hand side, and that sped him through the boring stuff until he got back to a place where he was interested in the goings on.

Call me Ismael, but do I have a book for you, Daddy.


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