Inconceivable Beasts: The Wonders of the East in the Beowulf Manuscript

By Asa Simon Mittman (California State University, Chico) and Susan M. Kim (Illinois State University)
2013 | 318 pp. | 55 ills. | Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 978-0-86698-481-2 | MRTS 433
$95 | £72

Bound with Beowulf, the Old English Wonders of the East, a catalogue of marvelous beings, describes the very creatures it depicts as ungefrægelicu (inconceivable). Insistently, these representations, both visual and textual, provoke questions about the nature and possibility of representation itself. In doing so, they also destabilize the notion of scholarship as being able to provide final, concrete meanings, even as they suggest the possibility for other ways of approaching meanings, including the question of what it meant—and means—to be a monster, and thus to be human. Containing the first color facsimile of the Wonders, transcription, translation and extensive commentary, this volume should be of interest to students and scholars of Old English literature, Anglo-Saxon art, and monster studies.