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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Patience /…

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight / Patience / Pearl (1967)

by Marie Borroff

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Nearly done teaching it. Borroff's translation is, I guess, tied for the best available, but--and I hate to be a snob about it--there's really no substitute for the original. I doubt Borroff would disagree with me.

which isn't to say that the translation can't be improved* in places: for example, a nice short piece by R. J. Dingley in Explicator some years back suggested that the "gyn" of Patience 146 ("Hit wat3 a ioyles gyn þat Jonas wat3 inne") be glossed as "craft," while Borroff does it as...well, my Borroff's in my office. But trust me. If you're writing a paper on this, please look to the original and don't be afraid of the Middle English dictionary.

* Of course depending on what counts as an improvement: is the translator trying to capture the 'feel' of the original or the sense? Borroff's translation tends to go for the feel and is quite good at that particular task. ( )
  karl.steel | Apr 2, 2013 |
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Sometime between 1350 and 1400, during the lifetime of Chaucer but far to the northwest of Chaucer's London, a scribe copied four poems into a single manuscript.
Since the siege and the assault was ceased at Troy,
the walls breached and burnt down to brands and ashes,
The knight that had knotted the nets of deceit
Was impeached for his perfidy, proven most true....
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393976580, Paperback)

Verse translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Patience, and Pearl by Marie Borroff.

"These translations by Marie Borroff not only are one of the great achievements of the translator's craft but are works of art in their own right."--Lee Patterson, Frederick W. Hilles Professor of English and Chairman of Medieval Studies, Yale University.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:48 -0400)

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