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The Song of Arthurby John Matthews
Synopses & Reviews
This companion to Celtic folklorist John Matthews' The Song of Taliesin (Quest 2001) features seventeen stories never before published in book form, interspersed with the author's original poetry in the style of the ancient past whence the tales spring. The book is a stunning retelling of legends, myths, and folktales drawn from the Welsh Mabinogion, the Taliesin tradition, The Book of Leinster, the story of Perceval, Malory's Morte d'Arthur, and other traditional sources. The stories are accompanied by excellent endnotes explaining sources and elucidating points of difficulty, but they stand beautifully on their own. Taken as a whole, they present the characters, themes, and events of Celtic, Grail, and Arthurian lore in an authentic literary voice that makes for great reading and great telling. The Ancient Wisdom flows forward in many forms. One of its streams is surely found in the Arthurian "quest for the Grail"---which is, at its core, the quest for enlightenment and spiritual mastery. Matthews' lucid refashioning of these tales is informed by his deep understanding of their esoteric center. Through them, the reader may clearly see the Ancient Wisdom shine.
This companion to Celtic folklorist John Matthews' "The Song of Taliesin" features 17 stories never before published in book form, interspersed with the author's original poetry in the style of the ancient past. The volume is a retelling of legends, myths and folktales.
These seventeen stories first published in book form stunningly present the Celtic legends and myths of the Arthurian quest for the Grail.
These seventeen stories first published in book form stunningly present the Celtic legends and myths of the Arthurian quest for the Grail. Informed by Matthews's lucid understanding, they make clear that, at the core, the quest is for spiritual enlightenment. Here is an authentic literary voice that makes for great reading and great telling. A companion to The Song of Taliesin (Quest 2000).
Table of Contents
Part I: Early tales: Jocelyn's tale ; Song of the grail lord — Kingly shadow ; Taliesin sings of his knowledge — Bride of the spear ; Taliesin in winter — In the prison of Arianrhod ; Salmon of wisdom — Part II: Bardic tales: Island of sorrow and joy ; Taliesin to the crows — Lugh of the strong arm and the three queens ; Lady of the lake — Owein of the ravens ; Taliesin and raven — Drustan's ghost ; Drustan and Issylt — Abduction and rescue of Gwenhwyfar the queen ; Seasons of the land — Part III: Later tales: Grisandol ; Snow wives — Thomas and the book ; Song of the returning — Vision of the mother of God ; Song of Pelles the grail king — Galahad and the holy things ; Grail — Collen and the lord of the mound ; Wasteland healed — Part IV: Fugitive tales: Hostel of the quicken trees ; Taliesin and the song of tradition — Singer ; Taliesin's quest — Maze ; The dream of Macsen Wleldig — Third awakening ; Taliesin's madness.
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