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A Feast of Creatures: Anglo-Saxon Riddle-Songs (Middle Ages) Paperback – 1 Jul 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812211294
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812211290
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,277,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A veritable feast."-Verbatim "Captivating."-Choice

About the Author

Craig Williamson is the Alfred H. and Peggi Bloom Professor of English Literature at Swarthmore College. He is editor and translator of "Beowulf" and Other Old English Poems, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janika Hurri on 1 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Without pretending to have all the answers this book attempts to dive into the interlacing mind-mazes of Old English riddles and way of thinking. The author's translations are of high quality and he refrains from too much modifications to make the riddles sound nicer in modern English. Each riddle is accompanied by a commentary at the back of the book, discussing possible, suggested, and popular solutions, as well as going into more detail on the way the riddle builds the image of whatever the solution is in the reader's mind; the quill comes alive as the bird's feather laments it's drudgery and at the same time celebrates its use as a tool of spreading wisdom, for example.

Personally, I think the book would have greatly benefited from having the Old English verses in it as well, for comparison as well as for pure enjoyment of their own; these pieces, like other Old English verse, were designed to be oral, and modern English translations (as good as they may be) necessarly lack the things which make them so pleasant to listen to.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
If You're Riddle-Smitten 5 Mar. 2003
By JAL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The word "riddle" in this title doesn't refer to the kind of riddles that ask you what's black and white and red/read all over. Instead, these Anglo-Saxon riddles open doors into the idea of metaphor in general - how one object reflects or metamorphosizes into another. Williamson writes beautifully about these things. Many of the English language's greatest poets and intellectuals have been fascinated by riddles - Richard Wilbur, W.H. Auden, Sigmund Freud, the list is long. Take a look at some of the roots of the riddle in Anglo-Saxon culture. Then fall into Roman riddles & Greek riddles and koans and Yiddish riddles and..........
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