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Yvain, The Knight of the Lion by Chrétien…

Yvain, The Knight of the Lion

by Chrétien de Troyes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chretien's Arthurian Romances (3)

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Spanish (6)  French (2)  English (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (11)
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I found Yvain in my public library when I was in middle school, and fell in love with it. The edition I read then, and the one I still favor, was translated by Ruth Harwood Cline, whose translations still amuse and amaze me. First, the translation is in rhymed couplets, which I consider a great (if occasionally annoying) feat. I find it easy to imagine this translation recited orally. The story itself is my favorite of Cretien de Troyes' romances, and remains one of my favorite medieval romances. It's got some cool courtly love themes, adventure, magic, madness, gory bits. What more could you want, really? ( )
1 vote ShushilaH | Dec 14, 2009 |
I don't want to give too much away (although the plot is so rich and the characters so varied that I could tell you everything and it would still be worth reading), but needless to say there is a lot of knightly adventure, chivalrous quests, and moral lessons in this romance. It is amazing to read something written over 800 years ago that still seems so fresh and with characters (including female characters) who have flaws and motivations that don't seem that different from people today.

The translator purposefully discards the original meter and rhyme of the Old French version, which would be nearly impossible to recreate in English, at least in any readable way, and instead gives us a metered but unrhymed modern English translation that (as far as I know) retains the tone and metaphors of the original. This edition also includes a well-written afterward by Joseph J. Duggan that puts the book into its cultural context, gives biographical information on Chrétien de Troyes, and discusses his many known and probable inspirations and sources for the romance.

[full review here: http://spacebeer.blogspot.com/2009/04/yvain-knight-of-lion-ca-1177.html ] ( )
1 vote kristykay22 | Apr 26, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
de Troyes, Chrétienprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackerman, Robert WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Locke, Frederick W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Le noble roi Arthur de Bretagne,
dont la prouesse nous ensiegne
à être vaillants et courtois,
réunit sa cour avec la magnificence convenant à un roi,
lors de cette fête qui tant coûte
qu’on l’appelle avec justess la Pentecôte.
(Traduction de David F. Hult)
Arthur, good king of Brittany,
Whose knighthood teaches us
To be courteous, to be true knights,
Held court as a king should
On that hold day always
Known as the Pentecost.
(Burton Raffel translation)
Good King Arthur of Britain, he
whose prowess taught us courtesy,
held court in Wales at Carduel,
a rich and kingly spectacle,
at that feast day of plentycost,
which we should call the Pentecost.
(Ruth Harwood Cline translation)
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0300038380, Paperback)

A twelfth-century poem by the creator of the Arthurian romance describes the courageous exploits and triumphs of a brave lord who tries to win back his deserted wife's love.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The twelfth-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes is a major figure in European literature. His courtly romances fathered the Arthurian tradition and influenced countless other poets in England as well as on the continent. Yet because of the difficulty of capturing his swift-moving style in translation, English-speaking audiences are largely unfamiliar with the pleasures of reading his poems. Now, for the first time, an experienced translator of medieval verse who is himself a poet provides a translation of Chrétien's major poem, Yvain, in verse that fully and satisfyingly captures the movement, the sense, and the spirit of the Old French original. Yvain is a courtly romance with a moral ten∨ it is ironic and sometimes bawdy; the poetry is crisp and vivid. In addition, the psychological and the socio-historical perceptions of the poem are of profound literary and historical importance, for it evokes the emotions and the values of a flourishing, vibrant medieval past.  … (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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