Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Chretien Detroyes-four Arthurian Romances Ss

Chretien Detroyes-four Arthurian Romances Ss

Ratings: (0)|Views: 333|Likes:
Published by janicemorris

More info:

Published by: janicemorris on Aug 29, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

08/30/2011

pdf

text

original

 
FOUR ARTHURIAN ROMANCES -
CHRETIEN DETROYES
Kibler, William W. & Carleton W. Carroll (Trans.): ”ChretienDeTroyes: Arthurian Romances” (Penguin Classics, London, 1991).Contains translations of ”Erec et Enide” (by Carroll), ”Cliges”,”Yvain”, ”Lancelot”, and DeTroyes’ incomplete ”Perceval” (byKibler). Highly recommended.Owen, D.D.R (Trans.): ”Chretien DeTroyes: Arthurian Romances”(Everyman Library, London, 1987). Contains translations of ”Erecet Enide”, ”Cliges”, ”Yvain”, ”Lancelot”, and DeTroyes’incomplete ”Perceval”. NOTE: This edition replaced W.W.Comfort’s in the Everyman Library catalogue. Highly recommended.RECOMMENDED READING –Anonymous: ”Lancelot of the Lake” (Trans: Corin Corely; OxfordUniversity Press, Oxford, 1989). English translation of one of the earliest prose romances concerning Lancelot.Anonymous: ”The Mabinogion” (Ed: Jeffrey Gantz; Penguin Classics,London, 1976). Contains a translation of ”Geraint and Enid”, anearlier Welsh version of ”Erec et Enide”.Anonymous: ”Yvain and Gawain”, ”Sir Percyvell of Gales”, and ”TheAnturs of Arther” (Ed: Maldwyn Mills; Everyman, London, 1992).NOTE: Texts are in Middle-English; ”Yvain and Gawain” is aMiddle-English work based almost exclusively on ChretienDeTroyes’ ”Yvain”.Malory, Sir Thomas: ”Le Morte D’Arthur” (Ed: Janet Cowen; PenguinClassics, London, 1969).
PDF created by pdfbooks.co.za
1
 
INTRODUCTION
Chretien De Troyes has had the peculiar fortune of becoming thebest known of the old French poets to students of mediaevalliterature, and of remaining practically unknown to any one else.The acquaintance of students with the work of Chretien has beenmade possible in academic circles by the admirable criticaleditions of his romances undertaken and carried to completionduring the past thirty years by Professor Wendelin Foerster of Bonn. At the same time the want of public familiarity withChretien’s work is due to the almost complete lack of translations of his romances into the modern tongues. The manwho, so far as we know, first recounted the romantic adventuresof Arthur’s knights, Gawain. Yvain, Erec, Lancelot, and Perceval,has been forgotten; whereas posterity has been kinder to hisdebtors, Wolfram yon Eschenbach, Malory, Lord Tennyson, andRichard Wagner. The present volume has grown out of the desireto place these romances of adventure before the reader of Englishin a prose version based directly upon the oldest form in whichthey exist.Such extravagant claims for Chretien’s art have been made in somequarters that one feels disinclined to give them even an echohere. The modem reader may form his own estimate of the poet’sart, and that estimate will probably not be high. Monotony, lackof proportion, vain repetitions, insufficient motivation,wearisome subtleties, and threatened, if not actual, indelicacyare among the most salient defects which will arrest, and mayhapconfound, the reader unfamiliar with mediaeval literary craft.No greater service can be performed by an editor in such a casethan to prepare the reader to overlook these common faults, andto set before him the literary significance of this twelfth-century poet.Chretien de Troyes wrote in Champagne during the third quarter of the twelfth century. Of his life we know neither the beginningnor the end, but we know that between 1160 and 1172 he lived,perhaps as herald-at-arms (according to Gaston Paris, based on”Lancelot” 5591-94) at Troyes, where was the court of hispatroness, the Countess Marie de Champagne. She was the daughterof Louis VII, and of that famous Eleanor of Aquitaine, as she iscalled in English histories, who, coming from the South of Francein 1137, first to Paris and later to England, may have had someshare in the introduction of those ideals of courtesy and womanservice which were soon to become the cult of European society.The Countess Marie, possessing her royal mother’s tastes andgifts, made of her court a social experiment station, where theseProvencal ideals of a perfect society were planted afresh incongenial soil. It appears from contemporary testimony that the2
 
authority of this celebrated feudal dame was weighty, and widelyfelt. The old city of Troyes, where she held her court, must beset down large in any map of literary history. For it was therethat Chretien was led to write four romances which together formthe most complete expression we possess from a single author of the ideals of French chivalry. These romances, written ineight-syllable rhyming couplets, treat respectively of Erec andEnide, Cliges, Yvain, and Lancelot. Another poem, ”Perceval leGallois”, was composed about 1175 for Philip, Count of Flanders,to whom Chretien was attached during his last years. This lastpoem is not included in the present translation because of itsextraordinary length of 32,000 verses, because Chretien wroteonly the first 9000 verses, and because Miss Jessie L. Weston hasgiven us an English version of Wolfram’s wellknown ”Parzival”,which tells substantially the same story, though in a differentspirit. To have included this poem, of which he wrote less thanone-third, in the works of Chretien would have been unjust tohim. It is true the romance of ”Lancelot” was not completed byChretien, we are told, but the poem is his in such large partthat one would be over-scrupulous not to call it his. The otherthree poems mentioned are his entire. In addition, there arequite generally assigned to the poet two insignificant lyrics,the pious romance of ”Guillaume d’Angleterre”, and theelaboration 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”Guillaume d’Angleterre” and ”Philomena” are not universallyattributed to Chretien, and since they have nothing to do withthe Arthurian material, it seems reasonable to limit the presententerprise to ”Erec and Enide”, ”Cliges”, ”Yvain”, and”Lancelot”.Professor Foerster, basing his remark upon the best knowledge wepossess of an obscure matter, has called ”Erec and Enide” theoldest Arthurian romance extant. It is not possible to disputethis significant claim, but let us make it a little moreintelligible. Scholarship has shown that from the early MiddleAges popular tradition was rife in Britain and Brittany. Theexistence of these traditions common to the Brythonic peoples wascalled to the attention of the literary world by William of Malmesbury (”Gesta regum Anglorum”) and Geoffrey of Monmouth(”Historia regum Britanniae”) in their Latin histories about 1125and 1137 respectively, and by the Anglo-Norman poet Waceimmediately afterward. Scholars have waged war over the theoriesof transmission of the so-called Arthurian material during thecenturies which elapsed between the time of the fabledchieftain’s activity in 500 A.D. and his appearance as a greatliterary personage in the twelfth century. Documents are lackingfor the dark ages of popular tradition before the NormanConquest, and the theorists may work their will. But Arthur and3

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->