Posts Tagged: Joan Acocella

Resurrecting a Monster

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Forty-one years after his death, JRR Tolkien’s translation of Beowulf has been published by his son Christopher. Tolkien translated Beowulf early in his career, yet never published it. In the New Yorker, Joan Acocella speculates on the reason:

Another possible explanation for Tolkien’s putting “Beowulf” aside—a theory that has been advanced in the case of many unpublished manuscripts—is that the work was so important to him that if he finished it his life, or the life of his mind, would be over.

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Great Novels with Bad Endings

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How many love affairs have you had with novels that ended abruptly, poorly, without cause or the “proper” resolution?

You finish the last word, your arms hang limp, the novel collapses into your lap, and you mutter: seriously?

In Joan Acocella’s New Yorker article “On Bad Endings,” Acocella explores some classic novels that left us feeling cheated, and why writing a “great” ending is so difficult and rare.

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