1. I have never once in my 40 years wanted to read Beowulf–it sounded too boring, too full of men making speeches about their bravery–but there is a new translation out by Maria Headley and, at least in this New Yorker review, it sounds amazing:
“Headley’s version is more of a rewriting than a true translation, reënvisaging the poem for the modern reader rather than transmitting it line for line. It is brash and belligerent, lunatic and invigorating, with passages of sublime poetry punctuated by obscenities and social-media shorthand.”
Seriously, this is a speech about a dude’s bravery I can get behind:
I’m the strongest and the boldest, and the bravest and the best.
Yes: I mean—I may have bathed in the blood of beasts,
netted five foul ogres at once, smashed my way into a troll den
and come out swinging, gone skinny-dipping in a sleeping sea
and made sashimi of some sea monsters.
Anyone who fucks with the Geats? Bro, they have to fuck with me…
Now, I want to test my mettle on Grendel, best him,
a match from man into meat. Just us two,
hand to hand. Sweet.
2. From McSweeney’s: Frog and Toad Tentatively Go Outside After Months In Self-Quarantine.
Toad changed into his work pajamas.
He reached under a pillow for his laptop and opened up his email.
“I have so much work to do,” sighed Toad.
He set his Zoom background to a picture of his room when it was tidy.
“There,” said Toad. “Now I am professional.”