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The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of…
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The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation (edição: 2013)

de Norris J. Lacy (Editor)

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The Romance of Arthur, James J. Wilhelm¿s classic anthology of Arthurian literature, is an essential text for students of the medieval Romance tradition. This fully updated third edition presents a comprehensive reader, mapping the course of Arthurian literature, and is expanded to cover: key authors such as Chr¿en de Troyes and Thomas of Britain, as well as Arthurian texts by women and more obscure sources for Arthurian romance extensive coverage of key themes and characters in the tradition a wide geographical range of texts including translations from Latin, French, German, Spanish, Welsh, Middle English, and Italian sources a broad chronological range of texts, encompassing nearly a thousand years of Arthurian romance. Norris J. Lacy builds on the book¿s source material, presenting readers with a clear introduction to many accessible modern-spelling versions of Arthurian texts. The extracts are presented in a new reader-friendly format with detailed suggestions for further reading and illustrations of key places, figures, and scenes. The Romance of Arthur provides an excellent introduction and an extensive resource for both students and scholars of Arthurian literature.… (mais)
Membro:SimsLibraryofPoetry
Título:The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation
Autores:Norris J. Lacy (Editor)
Informação:Routledge (2013), Edition: 3, 584 pages
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The Romance of Arthur: An Anthology of Medieval Texts in Translation de James J. Wilhelm (Editor)

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Selections have what is necessary--Sir Gawain to the Green Knight, bits from Geoffrey of Monmouth, a complete Chretien romance (Lancelot: apparently the grail material appears in the Grail Romance anthology), Beroul's Tristan--but also quite a bit of surprising stuff: an Italian Cantare on the Death of Tristan, a later Latin Gawain romance, the Saga of the Mantle, and selections from the Prose Merlin and Suite de Merlin. While I could complain about a few of the translations, they're perfectly serviceable if the instructor has the 'originals' on hand. I can complain only about the introductions, which were outdated even when they were written 30 years ago. The SGGK intro is particularly awful: for example, it contrasts the 'French' manners of Fitt III's seduction scene to the rough practice of hunting, where clearly 'French' = effeminate. If this reminds you of the old narrative of Chaucer's trajectory from French style towards an authentic, vigorous English verse, or if it reminds you of Arthur Conan Doyle Brigadier Gerard series, you're not mistaken. ( )
1 vote karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
ARTHUR IN THE LATIN CHRONICLES -- Gildas, a monk, 'On the Downfall and Conquest of Britain,' 547; Venerable Bede, 'Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation,' 731; Nennius, 'The History of the Britons,' 800; William of Malmesbury, 'The Deeds of the English Kings,' 1125; Geoffrey of Monmouth, 'History of the Kings of Britain,' 1138.
Geoffrey, the first true chronicler of King Arthur, created a 'false document,' with which to narrate his story. Today we would call it a hoax. He claimed to have been shown 'an ancient book in the British language that told in orderly fashion the deeds of all the kings of Britain. In his plain and modest style, Geoffrey says, he has translated this ancient book into Latin.' (59)
In Medieval times, originality and invention were suspect, so fiction writers 'discovered' secret manuscripts.

Wace, 'Roman de Brut' 1155: 'first full account of the Arthurian story in a vernacular: Old North French.' (95)
From Wace -- King Aurelius begs Merlin to reveal the future. ''Sir,' said Merlin, 'I can't do this. I won't open my mouth unless I'm forced to, and this is because of humility. If I spoke braggingly or jestingly or proudly, my guardian spirit, who teaches me all that I know, would leave my lips and take all of my knowledge away. My mouth would not be any more valuable than anyone else's. Let such secrets lie....If you want to create a lasting work that's beautiful and fitting and will be talked about for all time to come, then bring over here the circle that the giants built in Ireland -- a wonderful, huge, round work with stone set on stone -- so strong and heavy that no strength of men now alive can ever lift them.'' (99-100) The King agrees, and Merlin steals Stonehenge by magic, transporting it to the plain at Ambresbury.

Chretien de Troyes, 'Lancelot, or The Knight of the Cart,' c. 1160: 'first writer who consciously used the myth of Arthur as the basis for long fictional narratives.' (121)
From Chretien -- Lancelot is desperate to save the abducted Queen but in combat has lost his horse. A dwarf offers him a ride in a cart that is for transporting heinous criminals. The knight must choose -- will he ruin his reputation and suffer public disgrace by riding in the cart, or will he disregard all personal shame for the greater good of remaining faithful to the Queen? 'Reason, who does not follow Love's command, told him to beware of getting in, warned and counseled him not to do anything for which he might incur disgrace or reproach. Reason, who dared tell him this, spoke from the lips, not from the heart; but Love, who held sway within his heart, urged and commanded him to climb into the cart at once. Because Love ordered and wished it, he jumped in; since Love ruled his action, the disgrace did not matter.' (127)

Robert de Boron, 'Merlin', 1200: The wizard Merlin, a seer from Celtic legend, emerged 'as a fully developed figure in vernacular literature ... only around 1200, [in] the the poem 'Merlin.'' (305) Merlin's death is a cautionary tale for goaty old men. The hoary wizard falls for 15 year old Niviane the Huntress, who makes him promise he will never dishonor her by seducing her with magic, and also that he will teach her his skills. 'He took the oath immediately. So it was that the girl became an intimate of Merlin, although not in the sense that she admitted him to her bed -- but he was waiting and hoping to have his way with her, to know her in the flesh and deflower her (for he knew that she was still a virgin); and so he began to teach her sorcery and enchantment, and she learned rapidly.' (349) What's his reward? She tricks him into lying down naked inside a stone vault, then 'flooded the tomb with molten lead that she had ready, so that he died instantly, burned to the very entrails.' (353)

anonymous, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,' 14th century: '...not only the finest Arthurian romance in English literature, but also a work of commanding literary merit... deals with the timeless themes of love, honor, heroism, and the human will to survive in a world that is often perplexing, changeable, and violent.' (399)
A description of the arduous nature of a romantic quest:
'Many a cliff he climbed over in that strange country
Where he rode as a foreigner, far removed from his friends.
At every creek and crossing where that fellow coursed,
He found -- quite fantastically -- some foe before him,
One who was foul and fierce, with whom he had to fight.
In those mountains he met with such a host of marvels
That it would be too trying to tell even the tenth part.
Sometimes with serpents he struggled, sometimes with wolves,
Sometimes with troll-like creatures who camp in the crags,
Also with bulls and with bears -- and even with boars --
And giants who jumped out at him from the jags.
....
Yet danger was not what worried him; the weather was worse,
For the cold, clear water kept dropping down the the clouds
And freezing even before it fell on the frigid earth.
Almost slain by the sleet, he slept in his iron clothes
More nights than he had need for among the naked rocks,
Where cold torrents came crashing down from the crests
And hard icicles were hanging over his head. (419-420)

Sir Thomas Malory, 'Le Morte Darthur, 1470: 'the last great Arthurian writer of the Middle Ages.' (529) I plan to read the entire work so I did not read this excerpt.
  Mary_Overton | Jul 15, 2009 |
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Preface
This volume has its roots in a smaller Romance of Arthur that was published in 1983.
ARTHUR IN THE LATIN CHRONICLES
James J. Wilhelm
The romantic legend of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table seems more and more to have had some foundation in history.
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The Romance of Arthur, James J. Wilhelm¿s classic anthology of Arthurian literature, is an essential text for students of the medieval Romance tradition. This fully updated third edition presents a comprehensive reader, mapping the course of Arthurian literature, and is expanded to cover: key authors such as Chr¿en de Troyes and Thomas of Britain, as well as Arthurian texts by women and more obscure sources for Arthurian romance extensive coverage of key themes and characters in the tradition a wide geographical range of texts including translations from Latin, French, German, Spanish, Welsh, Middle English, and Italian sources a broad chronological range of texts, encompassing nearly a thousand years of Arthurian romance. Norris J. Lacy builds on the book¿s source material, presenting readers with a clear introduction to many accessible modern-spelling versions of Arthurian texts. The extracts are presented in a new reader-friendly format with detailed suggestions for further reading and illustrations of key places, figures, and scenes. The Romance of Arthur provides an excellent introduction and an extensive resource for both students and scholars of Arthurian literature.

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