Two prose passages worth noting

February 17, 2017 at 4:57 pm (books)

So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.

When I am trying out a new pen in a shop, I write out the first words of Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney. Years ago, I memorized that opening page. After a while, those were the words that came most readily to hand when I was testing the flow of ink. And, once, an attendant in a shop, reading over my shoulder, said: “Hey, that’s real nice. Did you just make that up right now or…?”

From the Preface to Known and Strange Things: Essays, by Teju Cole  25743316


A longboat full of Vikings, promoting the new British Museum exhibition, was seen sailing past the Palace of Westminster yesterday. Famously uncivilised, destructive and rapacious, with an almost insatiable appetite for rough sex and heavy drinking, the MPs nonetheless looked up for a bit to admire the vessel.

The Times, 16 April 2014

Prefatory to the text of Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas, by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough  51syhnoxtel-_sx331_bo1204203200_

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Ann said,

    Love both those quotes. The Times one made me laugh!

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