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Writing Worth Reading

Shivering In Tolkien’s Shadow

JRR Tolkien completed his prose translation of Beowulf in 1926 at the start of his writing career. He declined to publish it during his lifetime, perhaps fearing for its quality. He need not have worried. It is “a great work of translation”, faithful and deft. “The force of Tolkien’s passion for medieval art occasionally overwhelmed his scholarship, but its sheer strength also explains the lasting power of his work” (1,585 words)

“Hired By A Bitch To Find A Scum”

Review of Brian Nicol’s The Private Eye: Detectives In The Movies. “Often responding to Philip or Sam, the private investigator may be identified by his coat and hat. His habitat: the wet street corner or, unauthorised, another person’s home. He is accused of committing the very crime under his investigation. You will find him lit starkly, from the side. He is good at getting women into bed, but they often turn out to be villainesses. He is American” (2,370 words)

How We Got Pukka

Admiring review of Kate Teltscher’s abridged edition of Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases: “A lexical snapshot of a truly strange and fascinating moment in world history — the very pinnacle of British imperial dominance over other lands. The most interesting entries include something of the contemporary social mores of colonial British India, while also communicating linguistic mysteries behind common words”. (2,300 words)

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