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The Song of Roland by Anonymous

The Song of Roland

by Anonymous, Turoldus (?)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (18)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  All (21)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
No scholarly review here, I'm just a gal who likes to read epic poetry now and then. The version I read was translated by Leonard Bacon. It was perfectly readable, although repetitive. Probably had to be so, so that the reciter could go around to different groups during the meal and they wouldn't miss bits of the tale. That's how I imagine it anyway. Very descriptive and interesting, a battle told from the perspective of the losers trying to keep their pride, since the real battle apparently was very different. ( )
  MrsLee | Jul 23, 2015 |
read for school..blah quiz ( )
  ottilieweber | Apr 24, 2014 |
Marvelous, rollicking translation by Robert Harrison.

Woe to the infidel Aelroth, who insults King Charlemagne ...

laisse 93:
Marsilla's nephew (Aelroth was his name)
rides well out in advance of all the host,
goes shouting words of insult to our French:
"French villains, you shall fight with us today,
for he who should protect you has betrayed you;
the king who left you in this pass is mad.
This very day sweet France shall lose her fame,
and Charlemagne the right arm from his body."
When Roland hears this, God! is he enraged!
He spurs his horse and lets him run all out
and goes to strike the count with all his force;
he breaks his shield and lays his hauberk open
and pierces through his cheek and cracks the bones
and cuts the spine completely from the back
and with his lance casts out his mortal soul,
impales him well, and hoists the body up
and throws him dead a spear's length from his horse.
The neck-bone has been broken into halves,
and still he does not leave, but tells him this:
"You utter coward, Charles is not a fool,
nor has he ever had a love treason.
His act was brave, to leave us at the pass;
today sweet France is not to lose her fame.
Now lay on, Franks! the first blow has been ours.
We're in the right, these gluttons in the wrong!"
  Mary_Overton | Apr 15, 2014 |
The Original Western European Romance. Probably penned around 1099 or so. The Hero is valiant, and the historical accuracy is very poor. But as an artefact, it shows the beginning of popular entertainment in the Crusading West. I prefer Sayers' translation to the more recent Penguin by Glyn Burgess when I'm reading for the fun of it. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Feb 22, 2014 |
I had to read The Song of Roland for medieval lit, mostly because it's an epic of the period, while the other medieval texts are all romances -- I assume that later we'll have to make some comparisons and draw some contrasts. It's interesting to me because of my background with the classical epics -- it reminds me very strongly of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Obviously, they're all oral poems, designed to be memorised and performed, so in terms of language there's a lot of similarity, but there's also a similarity in the heroes -- the honour thing, for example, Roland shares with Achilles: it's better to die with honour than anything else.

I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed it, really. It's very easy to read, in this translation at least, and though the tense shifts in a way that should be awkward, the flow is quite easy to go along with. The descriptions are very... colourful. Which is to say, I winced at certain parts -- like Roland's brains seeping out of his ears, and Ganelon being torn into pieces.

Another interesting thing for me is the portrayal of the pagans, and the way it's been twisted from real history. The "otherness" of the pagans has been highly emphasised -- although also some of them are shown to be good knights so that they're actually a worthy opponent for Charlemagne and Roland to face.

Very interested to know what more my lecturer has to say about this poem. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Anonymousprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Turoldus (?)main authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bedier, JosephTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bengtsson, Frans GTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bensi, MarioEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burgess, Glyn S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlstedt, GunnarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duprez, LeifTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gautier, LéonEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, DickForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harrison, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jylhä, YrjöTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luquiens, Frederick BlissTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nordenhök, JensTranslatorsecondary 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
Terry, Patricia AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Way, Arthur S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140440755, Paperback)

Presents the classical epic, glorifying the heroism of Charlemagne in the 778 battle between the Franks and the Moors. Bibliogs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:47 -0400)

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Presents the classical epic, glorifying the heroism of Charlemagne in the 778 battle between the Franks and the Moors.

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