The Pirated Beowulf





While in Buffalo, I got to meet Rich Owens.  It was a pleasure.  Rich, I hope you get a kick out of this.  In 1975, Bill Griffiths' Pirate Press published John Porter's translation of Beowulf with a cover illustration by Jeff Nuttall.  This publication was the first dual-text Beowulf issued in England in a century.  Take a look at the title page.  If the Intrepid below captures the spirit of the Special Collection at Buffalo, this edition of Beowulf defines King's College for me.  Porter, Mottram, Bush, and Griffiths were all at King's.  Mottram made King's one of the centers of American Studies in Great Britain. 

There is an essay to be written comparing the Heaney Beowulf published by Norton to the Pirate Press.  These two editions tell the history of British Poetry post-1960.  To say nothing of book publishing.  For example, the Heaney Beowulf is available on Kindle.  On the other hand, Griffiths, in his introduction, mentions the value of gramophone records in appreciating the original Anglo-Saxon.       

0 comments:

Post a Comment