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1 Burnside Classics- British Medieval and Renaissance

This title in other editions

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

by

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A splendid new translation of the classic Arthurian tale of enchantment, adventure, and romance, presented alongside the original Middle English text.

It is the height of Christmas and New Year's revelry when an enormous knight with brilliant green clothes and skin descends upon King Arthur's court. He presents a sinister challenge: he will endure a blow of the axe to his neck without offering any resistance, but whoever gives the blow must promise to take the same in exactly a year and a day's time. The young Sir Gawain quickly rises to the challenge, and the poem tells of the adventures he finds — an almost irresistible seduction, shockingly brutal hunts, and terrifyingly powerful villains — as he endeavors to fulfill his promise.

Capturing the pace, impact, and richly alliterative language of the original text, W. S. Merwin has imparted a new immediacy to a spellbinding narrative, written centuries ago by a poet whose name is now unknown, lost to time. Of the Green Knight, Merwin notes in his foreword: "We seem to recognize him — his splendor, the awe that surrounds him, his menace and his grace — without being able to place him....We will never know who the Green Knight is except in our own response to him."

Review:

"[T]his Middle English tale is rendered line-by-line, with the original en face, by the indefatigable Merwin. This approach allows the full flavor of the poem to come through..." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Following the example of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, Merwin's...translation appears face-to-face with the Middle English original. A major translation of a major English, and a major horror, classic." Ray Olson, Booklist

Review:

"Wonderfully readable....[Merwin's] Gawain is a graceful read and, at the same time, remains as true as possible to the sense and style of the original." Sheila Farr, The Seattle Times

Review:

"Readers who enjoy a well-told story...will find a wonderful one here....Sir Gawain and the Green Knight endures — charming, strange, tantalizingly mysterious — and Merwin's translation catches at least some of the gleam of its vanished world." Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Gawain remains, centuries after it was written, a poem of uncanny power. It has the tapestried richness of legend, but also an astonishing psychological complexity. Its lines are elegantly wrought, but they propel us through an adventure filled with erotic entanglements, dire challenges, and mysterious landscapes. Here is that rare poem with both the epic dimensions of ageless myth and the eerie intimacy of last night's dream. The clarity, ingenuity, and force of W. S. Merwin's translation will enable a new generation of readers to discover a remarkable masterpiece." J. D. McClatchy

Synopsis:

In paperback for the first time, W. S. Merwin's magnificent translation of the classic Arthurian tale, in which the young Sir Gawain rises triumphantly to the dark challenge of the mysterious Green Knight, succumbing, in the process, to the weakness that will forever mark Arthur's court. Funny, raucous, erotic, violent, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the great works of enchantment, myth, and poetry. In a translation that captures the pace and power of the original, Merwin gives this 14th-century masterpiece its rightful place in the literature of our own time.

About the Author

W. S. Merwin was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Union City, New Jersey, and in Scranton, Pennsylvania. From 1949 to 1951 he worked as a tutor in France, Portugal, and Majorca. He has since lived in many parts of the world, most recently on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands. He has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets (of which he is now a Chancellor), the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry; most recently he has received the Governor's Award for Literature of the state of Hawaii, the Tanning Prize for mastery in the art of poetry, a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, and the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375709920
Translator:
Merwin, W. S.
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Translator:
Merwin, W. S.
Author:
Merwin, W. S.
Subject:
General
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
Arthurian romances
Subject:
Knights and knighthood
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Anthologies-United Kingdom Poetry
Subject:
poetry;medieval;fiction;arthurian;literature;classics;medieval literature;classic;mythology;14th century;king arthur;epic;england;fantasy;british;romance;english literature;english;knights;epic poetry;british literature;arthurian legend;middle ages;folklo
Subject:
poetry;medieval;fiction;arthurian;literature;classics;medieval literature;classic;mythology;14th century;king arthur;epic;england;fantasy;british;romance;english literature;english;knights;epic poetry;british literature;arthurian legend;middle ages;folklo
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
March 30, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.32x6.24x.60 in. .67 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » United Kingdom » Poetry
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » British Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Medieval and Renaissance
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780375709920 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[T]his Middle English tale is rendered line-by-line, with the original en face, by the indefatigable Merwin. This approach allows the full flavor of the poem to come through..."
"Review" by , "Following the example of Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, Merwin's...translation appears face-to-face with the Middle English original. A major translation of a major English, and a major horror, classic."
"Review" by , "Wonderfully readable....[Merwin's] Gawain is a graceful read and, at the same time, remains as true as possible to the sense and style of the original."
"Review" by , "Readers who enjoy a well-told story...will find a wonderful one here....Sir Gawain and the Green Knight endures — charming, strange, tantalizingly mysterious — and Merwin's translation catches at least some of the gleam of its vanished world."
"Review" by , "Gawain remains, centuries after it was written, a poem of uncanny power. It has the tapestried richness of legend, but also an astonishing psychological complexity. Its lines are elegantly wrought, but they propel us through an adventure filled with erotic entanglements, dire challenges, and mysterious landscapes. Here is that rare poem with both the epic dimensions of ageless myth and the eerie intimacy of last night's dream. The clarity, ingenuity, and force of W. S. Merwin's translation will enable a new generation of readers to discover a remarkable masterpiece."
"Synopsis" by , In paperback for the first time, W. S. Merwin's magnificent translation of the classic Arthurian tale, in which the young Sir Gawain rises triumphantly to the dark challenge of the mysterious Green Knight, succumbing, in the process, to the weakness that will forever mark Arthur's court. Funny, raucous, erotic, violent, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the great works of enchantment, myth, and poetry. In a translation that captures the pace and power of the original, Merwin gives this 14th-century masterpiece its rightful place in the literature of our own time.
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