Chretien de Troyes wrote in French in the second half of the twelfth century. Very little is known about his life.
William W. Kibler teaches at the University of Texas at AUsin. He as served as president of the North American Branch of the Societe Rencesvals and has published many articles on medieval French literature.
Carleton W. Carroll is Professor of French at Oregon State University. Previous publications include editions and translations of Chretien's Eric et Enide and Le Chevalier au Lion.
The romance begins with the marriage of Cligès's parents and continues with the clandestine, mutual love of their son and his uncle's bride, Fenice. Cligès and Fenice are finally united after executing a false-death plot aided by black magic.
With a thoroughness and clarity that will appeal to students and scholars of medieval literature, Cline's accessible translation effectively conveys the sparkle, pace, and intricate wordplay of Chrétien's love monologues, classic themes, and complex poetic devices. In addition, her introduction sheds new light on the transmission of British history and legend to the French court of Champagne. With themes that echo from the Tristan legend to Romeo and Juliet, Cligès is an exciting romance about young lovers who escape from an arranged match and find true love in marriage.
Cline's translation, faithful to the highly synthetic, deliberately ornate nature of medieval French, follows Perceval from his home in Wales, through his rich and raucous adventures as a member of the fraternity of knights, to his climactic meeting with the Fisher King. Paralyzed by his first glimpse of the Grail, Perceval fails to save the ailing king. Distraught, the knight begins a new quest for the Grail, a journey on the road of penitence and faith. Perceval's venture, the true test of his knighthood, ends without conclusion; the death of author Chrétien de Troyes left unsaid and undetermined the success of Perceval's quest.