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The Old English Poems of Cynewulf (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library) [Hardcover]

Cynewulf , Robert E. Bjork

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Book Description

17 May 2013 Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library (Book 23)
The Old English poems attributed to Cynewulf, who flourished some time between the eighth and tenth centuries, are unusual because most vernacular poems in this period are anonymous. Other than the name, we have no biographical details of Cynewulf, not even the most basic facts of where or when he lived. Yet the poems themselves attest to a powerfully inventive imagination, deeply learned in Christian doctrine and traditional verse-craft. Runic letters spelling out the name Cynewulf appear in four poems: Christ II (or The Ascension), Juliana, The Fates of the Apostles, and Elene. To these a fifth can be added, Guthlac B because of similarities in style and vocabulary, but any signature (if one ever existed) has been lost because its ending lines are missing. What characterizes Cynewulf's poetry? He reveals an expert control of structure as shown from the changes he makes to his Latin sources. He has a flair for extended similes and dramatic dialogue. In Christ II, for example, the major events in Christ's life are portrayed as vigorous leaps. In Juliana the force of the saint's rhetoric utterly confounds a demon sent to torment her.

Frequently Bought Together

The Old English Poems of Cynewulf (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library) + Old English Shorter Poems, Volume II: Wisdom and Lyric: 2 (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library) + Old English Shorter Poems, Volume I: 1 (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library)
Price For All Three: £53.75

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library) edition (17 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674072634
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674072633
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14 x 2.1 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 691,452 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Robert E. Bjork is Foundation Professor of English and Director of the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Arizona State University.

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good verse translations 3 Mar 2014
By Aaron K. Hostetter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a scholar and translator of Old English poetry, I can appreciate the timeliness and quality of this edition. It fills in a much-needed gap in recent editions available for the classroom and nonspecialist, providing a parallel-text edition useful for scholarly comparison. A bit pricy, but excellent quality. You won't find anything else in print like this.
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