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Lanzelet (Records of Western Civilization…
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Lanzelet (Records of Western Civilization Series)

by Ulrich von Zatzikhoven

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Lanzelet is -- unsurprisingly -- a story focused on Lancelot, though it is a story that doesn't include Chrétien de Troyes' addition to the story of the adulterous love between Lancelot and Guinevere. Lancelot, in this story, has various maidens and queens in love with him, but eventually is faithful to a lady called Iblis -- there is no hint that he and Guinevere (Ginover, in this text) have any real relationship at all, let alone anything improper. The story of the abduction of the queen is present, and Lancelot is a foremost part of it, but he is not alone: all of Arthur's court combines to win back their queen.

This translation seems clear, and is pretty easy to read -- I think it's probably better than J.W. Thomas' translations of The Crown and Wigalois -- and comes with a good introduction and extensive notes. Definitely useful for study, I'd say, and yet still readable enough for pleasure, though you'd probably best be a Lancelot fan.

On a personal note, this text is from the German tradition, which seems to mean a generally positive attitude to Gawain. 'Walwein the faultless', hm? It's also interesting to note that though Gawain does not defeat Lancelot, nor can Lancelot defeat Gawain. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ulrich von Zatzikhovenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kerth, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loomis, Roger ShermanAdditional notessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, Kathleen J.Editor and Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Webster, Kenneth G.T.Additional notessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 023112869X, Paperback)

Lanzelet, one of the first known versions of the Lancelot story, is a critical work in medieval literature. This Middle High German romance is a rendering of a lost French tale of Lancelot that likely predates Chrétien de Troyes's famous Lancelot or the Knight of the Cart. Ulrich von Zatzikhoven obtained a copy of the original book in 1194 and translated the work from French into German. Kenneth G.T. Webster made the first English translation in the 1930s, and Columbia University Press published it in 1951. Following Webster's death, the famed Arthurian scholar Roger Sherman Loomis made slight modifications to the text and expanded Webster's notes. Thomas Kerth's new translation, prepared with the highest accuracy and scholarly insight available to date, includes a new introduction and revised bibliography, notes from both Loomis and Webster, and a commentary reflecting the fifty years of scholarship on Lanzelet since the publication of Webster's translation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

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