Beowulf: A Dramatic Translation
“Chris Vinsonhaler, a bold and subtle critic of this poem, has produced a translation for our times: grief-stricken and appalled by bloody wars waged for the ‘glittering loot,’ which in the end lies buried beneath a monument, ‘useless, as it was before.’ Her ear, attuned to the richer beauty and greater cogency of an ironic reading, has taught her to translate the poem’s dark music as a rejection of the value of death; her radical interpretation strikes this reader as not only true but necessary.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxMary Baine Campbell, Brandeis University
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAuthor, Wonder & Science:
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxImagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe

“This new translation, sure to spark excitement and debate, challenges conventional views of the poem at every juncture. For the first time the question is raised whether we should view Beowulf as a positive figure at all.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxEdward R. Haymes, Cleveland State University
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAuthor, Heroic Legends of the North

“Chris Vinsonhaler’s Beowulf is not just another translation of this classic of British literature. It’s the first genuinely new translation that I have seen in 30 years of studying, reading, and teaching the poem. Her years of performing the poem before live audiences have paid off handsomely, for she has recovered the poem’s long-lost orality with her sensitive rendering of its richly complex textures of ironic voices and aural resonances largely overlooked by generations of tone-deaf translators. The result is the first “performance” interpretation of Beowulf, one that also soundly challenges the traditional heroic reading of the poem.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxRon Stottlemyer, Carroll College
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxProfessor of English