Heaney’s Beowulf Introduction

From Seamus Heaney’s introduction to Beowulf:

This has contributed to the impression that it [Beowulf] was written (as Osip Mandelstam said of The Divine Comedy) ‘on official paper’ which is unfortunate, since what we are dealing with is a work of the greatest imaginative vitality, a masterpiece where the structuring of the tale is as elaborate as the beautiful contrivances of its language.

It is an introduction that leads the reader into Beowulfwith great anticipation.

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