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The Song of Roland

by Turoldus

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,255391,929 (3.65)108
"A new verse translation of the "Song of Roland" intended to introduce readers to epic chanting by providing a sense of the form and feel of original performance; includes introduction, glosary and bibliography"--Provided by publisher.

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» See also 108 mentions

English (35)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I like when non-fiction authors unintentionally give insights into their own lives and times when writing about other times. Reading the intro, my catch-phrase became "Who hurt you, Dorothy?" due to her regular asides on the behaviour of "modern" man (we're talking about the 1940s here).

Anyway, I looked her up on Wikipedia and it turns out it was men. Men hurt Dorothy.

Anyway, the substance of the poem. I enjoyed the translation, the rhythm and assonance, it was pleasing to read. The quality of the content was probably just fine in its time, recited aloud to audiences hungry for a heroic tale of national pride. However it lack the nuance craved by the modern analytical reader - the heroes are all objectively right, the villains are objectively villainous, everyone including his enemies knows it to be true that Roland is the greatest knight in Charlemagne's entourage. There's no variety of perspective or motive for the conflict beyond the actors playing their assigned roles.

Interesting elements: the existence of black African soldiers fighting in medieval Europe, the ultra-violence, the imagery of the beautiful flowered meadow become a place of sorrow and carnage. ( )
  weemanda | Nov 2, 2023 |
After his vassals screw things up yet again, Charlemagne tramples infidels as an instrument of God.

You could write an excellent freshman English paper about how proud Roland and his traitorous step-father, Ganelon, are the dual victims/villains of this epic. Ganelon is the explicit villain, but Roland is just as much a proud individualist who disregards the tenets of his vassalage (despite Oliver's hissed injunctions to summon reinforcements with his horn) for the sake of his personal honor and distinction. Charlemagne's modern society calls for individual desires to be subsumed within the greater good of the state and the greater glory of God. Ganelon betrays that ideal for an old-fashioned blood vendetta; Roland betrays that ideal from hubris.

But more importantly, in the Song of Roland Drinking Game, every time a beard is mentioned, you drink. (Two drinks if it's Charlemagne's beard and described as "hoary" or "white.") ( )
  proustbot | Jun 19, 2023 |
  SueJBeard | Feb 14, 2023 |
2.5 stars
I don't seem to enjoy battle and war tragedies. I can see why it would have been popular in its time (especially with the themes of honor, betrayal, etc.), but this story just isn't for me. ( )
  ChelseaVK | Dec 10, 2021 |
Epic poem telling of the knight Roland who worked for Charlemagne and his fall at the battle of Roncevaux. Quite decent, interesting characters, magic swords etc. ( )
  wreade1872 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Turoldusprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Angelo, ValentiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Żeleński, TadeuszTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bédier, JosephTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bengtsson, Frans G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bensi, MarioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Besthorn, RudolfAnmerkungensecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Besthorn, RudolfIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlstedt, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chesterton, G. K.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duprez, LeifTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gautier, LéonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gautier, LéonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, DickForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hertz, WilhelmTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jylhä, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lo Cascio, RenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luquiens, Frederick BlissTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordenhök, JensTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rabillon, LéonceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riquer, Martín deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robertson, Howard S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sayers, Dorothy L.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sayers, Dorothy L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott Moncrieff, C. K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segre, CesareEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smyth, Nathan A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stengel, EdmundEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Terry, Patricia AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Way, Arthur S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Carlon the King, our emperor Charlemayn,
Full seven years long has been abroad in Spain...
Charles the king, our mighty emperor,

has been in Spain for all of seven years,

has won that haughty land down to the sea.
Carle our most noble Emperor and King,
Hath tarried now full seven years in Spain,
Conqu'ring the highland regions to the sea;
No fortress stands before him unsubdued,
Nor wall, nor city left, to be destroyed,

Save Sarraguce, high on a mountain set.
Carles li reis, nostre emperere magnes,

set anz tuz pleins ad estet en Espaigne:

Tresqu'en la mer cunquist la tere altaigne.
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"A new verse translation of the "Song of Roland" intended to introduce readers to epic chanting by providing a sense of the form and feel of original performance; includes introduction, glosary and bibliography"--Provided by publisher.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
38-page introduction, 2 pages on costume, 153 pages text, 2-page note.
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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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