This article payed for and endorsed by the Stanford English Department
The tepid pool of Anglo-Saxon Literary Research is positively rippling with controversy after Dr. Walke of the University of Manchester suggested that the opening line of Beowulf should be translated as “How we have heard of the might of kings” as opposed to the previously accepted “Listen! We have heard of the might of kings.” As if that weren’t shocking enough, Stanford graduate student Larry Buchsbaum has entered the arena, throwing his considerable weight behind the theory that Beowulf‘s seminal first line can be most accurately expressed as “Sup fools, kings be up to some crazy shit.”
“It’s really quite obvious,” said Buchsbaum, grinning over the first Starbucks coffee he’s been able to afford since having first joined the English literature department several years ago, who, far from paying him, actually asked him for a loan on his first day. “Beowulf’s writer was a common man. Beowulf himself wasn’t exactly educated. Why would the opening line be any more eloquent than strict vernacular? Am I blowing your mind yet?”
Buchsbaum’s new interpretation has caused quite a stir in the English community, as it has brought forth many other alternative interpretations, such as “Fuck it guys, it’s time to talk about kings and dragons”, “Guys, I promise this story will be cool,” and “Now this is a story all about how/Beowulf’s life got flip-turned upside down.” These many competing interpretations have dragged a previously unknown opposition movement into the light, one that states that the opening phrase “Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum, þeod-cyninga, þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon!” is actually complete gibberish and clearly was spoken by someone with several mental disorders.
Despite these rival interpretations, Buchsbaum is confident that his translation will reign supreme. “Anglo-Saxon Literary Research is a rough field, with new discoveries being revealed every day. But I feel like my interpretation has the timeless feel that we need for a classic such as Beowulf.”
As of press time, a rival grad student at Berkeley has announced that Buchsbaum’s translation should be amended to begin with “Sup bitches.”
If news like this excites you, English may be for you! Come to Building 160 with a list of your favorite Walden quotes and a minimum of 3 scarves to declare.