Sir Gawain & the Green Knight (modern version) (Classic Literature with Classical Music)

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9789626348659: Sir Gawain & the Green Knight (modern version) (Classic Literature with Classical Music)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a magical medieval combination of the epic and the uncanny. A mysterious knight in green arrives at King Arthur's court and issues a bizarre challenge. Gawain answers the knight - but at what cost? This new translation keeps all the poetic power of the original's extraordinary alliteration. In doing so it brings the saga vividly to life, and in a manner that demands to be heard.

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From AudioFile:

In this Middle English romance, written by an unknown poet in the 14th century, Sir Gawain is challenged by a mysterious visitor to King Arthur's court, setting in motion a series of adventures. The original poem is written in a dialect of northwest England, and there is a hint of that region (almost certainly unintentional) in Jasper Britton's accent during his entertaining narration of this modern translation. Poetry of this period is alliterative, relying on the repetition of initial word sounds rather than rhyme, and this verse form can be cloying to modern ears. But Britton is entirely comfortable with the technique, and he captures the rhythm of the lines without overemphasizing the alliteration. D.B. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Review:

A 'horrid horseman' in 'vesture vivid green' bursts into Christmas festivities at King Arthur's court and challenges a knight to cut off his head. Sir Gawain does so - and a magical morality tale follows. The alliterative form of the 600-year-old original is brilliantly exploited by both translators and both readers are faithful to the text's Middle English northern dialect. Armitage has the edge for sheer linguistic vigour, but his reading lacks variety of pitch and pace. Britton's narration is punchier, capturing, for example, the coy, teasing tone of the seductress who tests Gawain's chivalry, and the tension as he approaches the Green Chapel. - Rachel Redford, The Observer Poetry of this period is alliterative, relying on the repetition of initial word sounds rather than rhyme, and this verse form can be cloying to modern ears. But Britton is entirely comfortable with the technique, and he captures the rhythm of the lines without overemphasizing the alliteration. - Maine Portland, AudioFile

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