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Four Arthurian Romances by 12th cent. de Troyes Chrétien

Four Arthurian Romances by 12th cent. de Troyes Chrétien

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Published by Critteranne
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Four Arthurian Romances, by Chretien DeTroyes This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Four Arthurian Romances "Erec et Enide", "Cliges", "Yvain", and "Lancelot" Author: Chretien DeTroyes Posting Date: July 26, 2008 [EBook #831] Release Date: February, 19
The Project Gutenberg EBook of Four Arthurian Romances, by Chretien DeTroyes This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Four Arthurian Romances "Erec et Enide", "Cliges", "Yvain", and "Lancelot" Author: Chretien DeTroyes Posting Date: July 26, 2008 [EBook #831] Release Date: February, 19

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Four Arthurian Romances, by Chretien DeTroyesThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Four Arthurian Romances"Erec et Enide", "Cliges", "Yvain", and "Lancelot"Author: Chretien DeTroyesPosting Date: July 26, 2008 [EBook #831]Release Date: February, 1997Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK FOUR ARTHURIAN ROMANCES ***Produced by Douglas B. KillingsFOUR ARTHURIAN ROMANCES:"EREC ET ENIDE", "CLIGES", "YVAIN", AND "LANCELOT"by Chretien DeTroyesFl. 12th Century A.D.Originally written in Old French, sometime in the second half of the12th Century A.D., by the court poet Chretien DeTroyes.SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:ORIGINAL TEXT--Carroll, Carleton W. (Ed.): "Chretien DeTroyes: Erec and Enide" (GarlandLibrary of Medieval Literature, New York & London, 1987). Edited with atranslation (see Penguin Classics edition below).Kibler, William W. (Ed.): "Chretien DeTroyes: The Knight with the Lion,or Yvain (Garland Library of Medieval Literature 48A, New York & London,1985). Original text with English translation (See Penguin Classicsedition below).Kibler, William W. (Ed.): "Chretien DeTroyes: Lancelot, or The Knight ofthe Cart (Garland Library of Medieval Literature 1A, New York & London,
 
1981). Original text with English translation (See Penguin Classicsedition below).Micha, Alexandre (Ed.): "Les Romans de Chretien de Troyes, Vol. II:Cliges" (Champion, Paris, 1957).OTHER TRANSLATIONS--Cline, Ruth Harwood (Trans.): "Chretien DeTroyes: Yvain, or the Knightwith the Lion" (University of Georgia Press, Athens GA, 1975).Kibler, William W. & Carleton W. Carroll (Trans.): "Chretien DeTroyes:Arthurian Romances" (Penguin Classics, London, 1991). Containstranslations of "Erec et Enide" (by Carroll), "Cliges", "Yvain","Lancelot", and DeTroyes' incomplete "Perceval" (by Kibler). Highlyrecommended.Owen, D.D.R (Trans.): "Chretien DeTroyes: Arthurian Romances" (EverymanLibrary, London, 1987). Contains translations of "Erec et Enide","Cliges", "Yvain", "Lancelot", and DeTroyes' incomplete "Perceval".NOTE: This edition replaced W.W. Comfort's in the Everyman Librarycatalogue. Highly recommended.RECOMMENDED READING--Anonymous: "Lancelot of the Lake" (Trans: Corin Corely; OxfordUniversity Press, Oxford, 1989). English translation of one of theearliest prose romances concerning Lancelot.Anonymous: "The Mabinogion" (Ed: Jeffrey Gantz; Penguin Classics,London, 1976). Contains a translation of "Geraint and Enid", an earlierWelsh version of "Erec et Enide".Anonymous: "Yvain and Gawain", "Sir Percyvell of Gales", and "The Antursof Arther" (Ed: Maldwyn Mills; Everyman, London, 1992). NOTE: Texts arein Middle-English; "Yvain and Gawain" is a Middle-English work basedalmost exclusively on Chretien DeTroyes' "Yvain".Malory, Sir Thomas: "Le Morte D'Arthur" (Ed: Janet Cowen; PenguinClassics, London, 1969).*****INTRODUCTIONChretien De Troyes has had the peculiar fortune of becoming the bestknown of the old French poets to students of mediaeval literature, andof remaining practically unknown to any one else. The acquaintance ofstudents with the work of Chretien has been made possible in academiccircles by the admirable critical editions of his romances undertakenand carried to completion during the past thirty years by ProfessorWendelin Foerster of Bonn. At the same time the want of publicfamiliarity with Chretien's work is due to the almost complete lack oftranslations of his romances into the modern tongues. The man who, so
 
far as we know, first recounted the romantic adventures of Arthur'sknights, Gawain. Yvain, Erec, Lancelot, and Perceval, has beenforgotten; whereas posterity has been kinder to his debtors, Wolframyon Eschenbach, Malory, Lord Tennyson, and Richard Wagner. The presentvolume has grown out of the desire to place these romances of adventurebefore the reader of English in a prose version based directly upon theoldest form in which they exist.Such extravagant claims for Chretien's art have been made in somequarters that one feels disinclined to give them even an echo here.The modem reader may form his own estimate of the poet's art, and thatestimate will probably not be high. Monotony, lack of proportion,vain repetitions, insufficient motivation, wearisome subtleties, andthreatened, if not actual, indelicacy are among the most salient defectswhich will arrest, and mayhap confound, the reader unfamiliar withmediaeval literary craft. No greater service can be performed by aneditor in such a case than to prepare the reader to overlook thesecommon faults, and to set before him the literary significance of thistwelfth-century poet.Chretien de Troyes wrote in Champagne during the third quarter of thetwelfth century. Of his life we know neither the beginning nor theend, but we know that between 1160 and 1172 he lived, perhaps asherald-at-arms (according to Gaston Paris, based on "Lancelot" 5591-94)at Troyes, where was the court of his patroness, the Countess Marie deChampagne. She was the daughter of Louis VII, and of that famous Eleanorof Aquitaine, as she is called in English histories, who, coming fromthe South of France in 1137, first to Paris and later to England, mayhave had some share in the introduction of those ideals of courtesy andwoman service which were soon to become the cult of European society.The Countess Marie, possessing her royal mother's tastes and gifts, madeof her court a social experiment station, where these Provencal idealsof a perfect society were planted afresh in congenial soil. It appearsfrom contemporary testimony that the authority of this celebrated feudaldame was weighty, and widely felt. The old city of Troyes, where sheheld her court, must be set down large in any map of literary history.For it was there that Chretien was led to write four romances whichtogether form the most complete expression we possess from a singleauthor of the ideals of French chivalry. These romances, written ineight-syllable rhyming couplets, treat respectively of Erec and Enide,Cliges, Yvain, and Lancelot. Another poem, "Perceval le Gallois", wascomposed about 1175 for Philip, Count of Flanders, to whom Chretien wasattached during his last years. This last poem is not included inthe present translation because of its extraordinary length of 32,000verses, because Chretien wrote only the first 9000 verses, and becauseMiss Jessie L. Weston has given us an English version of Wolfram'swell-known "Parzival", which tells substantially the same story, thoughin a different spirit. To have included this poem, of which he wroteless than one-third, in the works of Chretien would have been unjust tohim. It is true the romance of "Lancelot" was not completed by Chretien,we are told, but the poem is his in such large part that one would beover-scrupulous not to call it his. The other three poems mentioned arehis entire. In addition, there are quite generally assigned to the poettwo insignificant lyrics, the pious romance of "Guillaume d'Angleterre",and the elaboration of an episode from Ovid's "Metamorphoses" (vi.,426-674) called "Philomena" by its recent editor (C. de Boer, Paris,1909). All these are extant and accessible. But since "Guillaumed'Angleterre" and "Philomena" are not universally attributed toChretien, and since they have nothing to do with the Arthurian material,it seems reasonable to limit the present enterprise to "Erec and Enide",

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