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The Quest of the Holy Grail by Anonymous

The Quest of the Holy Grail

by Anonymous

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Prose Lancelot, or the Vulgate Cycle (2)

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This 1220's redaction is very much an extended sermon, the various questing knights, having their spiritual stages being established quite clearly. I don't think this was anyone's favourite part of the canon. I'm sure this is an accurate translation, and I thank Pauline Matarasso for her efforts. I read it for completion, twice, looking for some fun in it. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 3, 2014 |
From the Introduction by translator P.M. Matarasso: "The QUESTE DEL SAINT GRAAL despite its Arthurian setting is not a romance, it is a spiritual fable. This may seem surprising in view of the fact it forms part of a vast compilation know as the PROSE LANCELOT, which might justifiably be called the romance to end romances. It is less surprising however when one considers that it is the product of a period when things were rarely quite what they seemed, when the outward appearance was merely a garment in which to dress some inward truth, when the material world was but a veil through which the immutable could be sporadically glimpsed and perpetually reinterpreted. "(9)

As King Arthur's knights gather at the Round Table: "When they were all seated and the noise was hushed, there came a clap of thunder so loud and terrible that they thought the palace must fall. Suddenly the hall was lit by a sunbeam which shed a radiance through the palace seven times brighter than had been before. In this moment they were all illumined as it might be by the grace of the Holy Ghost .... When they had sat a long while thus, unable to speak and gazing at one another like dumb animals, the Holy Grail appeared ... and yet no mortal hand was seen to bear it." (43-44)

Lancelot is admonished by a hermit on the sin of squandering one's gifts: "'Sir, you owe God a great return for creating you so fair and valiant .... He has lent you understanding and memory, and you must so use them for good, that His love being kept perfect in you, the devil may derive no profit from the great gifts God has given you.'" (87)

Another holy man tells Gawain: "'Do not imagine moreover that the adventures now afoot consist in the murder of men or the slaying of knights; they are of a spiritual order, higher in every way and much more worth.'" (174)
  Mary_Overton | Aug 4, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionscalculated
Matarasso, Pauline M.Translatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matarasso, P. M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On the eve of Pentecost when the companions of the Round Table were all assembled at Camelot, at the hour of none when the office was sung and the tables were being set up, a maiden of great beauty came riding into the hall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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