Sir Gawain and The Green Knight

OUP Oxford
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'The finest translation in and for our time' (Kevin Crossley-Holland) Sir Gawain and The Green Knight, with its intricate plot of enchantment and betrayal is probably the most skilfully told story in the whole of the English Arthurian cycle. Originating from the north-west midlands of England, it is based on two separate and very ancient Celtic motifs of the Beheading and the Exchange of Winnings, brought together by the anonymous 14th century poet. His telling comprehends a great variety of moods and modes - from the stark realism of the hunt-scenes to the delicious and dangerous bedroom encounters between Lady Bercilak and Gawain, from moments of pure lyric beauty when he evokes the English countryside in all its seasons, to authorial asides that are full of irony and puckish humour. This new verse translation uses a modern alliterative pattern which subtly echoes the music of the original at the same time as it strives for fidelity. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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About the author

Australian born-poet and translator Keith Harrison taught for 30 years at Carleton College, Minnesota. He has published many books of poetry and translation including Points in a Journey (Macmillan), The Basho Poems (Minneapolis) and A Burning of Applewood (Northfield, Black Willow). Helen Cooper is Professor of English Language and Literature, and Tutorial Fellow at University College, Oxford. She is the editor of Malory's Le Morte Darthur in Oxford World's Classics.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Sep 11, 2008
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Pages
160
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ISBN
9780191609152
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Literary Criticism / Ancient & Classical
Literary Criticism / Poetry
Poetry / Anthologies (multiple authors)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The English Romance in Time is a study of English romance across the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It explores romance motifs - quests and fairy mistresses, passionate heroines and rudderless boats and missing heirs - from the first emergence of the genre in French and Anglo-Norman in the twelfth century down to the early seventeenth. This is a continuous story, since the same romances that constituted the largest and most sophisticated body of secular fiction in the Middle Ages went on to enjoy a new and vibrant popularity at all social levels in black-letter prints as the pulp fiction of the Tudor age. This embedded culture was reworked for political and Reformation propaganda and for the 'writing of England', as well as providing a generous reservoir of good stories and dramatic plots. The different ways in which the same texts were read over several centuries, or the same motifs shifted meaning as understanding and usage altered, provide a revealing and sensitive measure of historical and cultural change. The book accordingly looks at those processes of change as well as at how the motifs themselves work, to offer a historical semantics of the language of romance conventions. It also looks at how politics and romance intersect - the point where romance comes true. The historicizing of the study of literature is belatedly leading to a wider recognition that the early modern world is built on medieval foundations. This book explores both the foundations and the building. Similarly, generic theory, which previously tended to operate on transhistorical assumptions, is now acknowledging that genre interacts crucially with cultural context - with changing audiences and ideologies and means of dissemination. The generation into which Spenser and Shakespeare were born was the last to be brought up on a wide range of medieval romances in their original forms, and they could therefore exploit their generic codings in new texts aimed at both elite and popular audiences. Romance may since then have lost much of its cultural centrality, but the universal appeal of these same stories has continued to fuel later works from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.
The English Romance in Time is a study of English romance across the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It explores romance motifs - quests and fairy mistresses, passionate heroines and rudderless boats and missing heirs - from the first emergence of the genre in French and Anglo-Norman in the twelfth century down to the early seventeenth. This is a continuous story, since the same romances that constituted the largest and most sophisticated body of secular fiction in the Middle Ages went on to enjoy a new and vibrant popularity at all social levels in black-letter prints as the pulp fiction of the Tudor age. This embedded culture was reworked for political and Reformation propaganda and for the 'writing of England', as well as providing a generous reservoir of good stories and dramatic plots. The different ways in which the same texts were read over several centuries, or the same motifs shifted meaning as understanding and usage altered, provide a revealing and sensitive measure of historical and cultural change. The book accordingly looks at those processes of change as well as at how the motifs themselves work, to offer a historical semantics of the language of romance conventions. It also looks at how politics and romance intersect - the point where romance comes true. The historicizing of the study of literature is belatedly leading to a wider recognition that the early modern world is built on medieval foundations. This book explores both the foundations and the building. Similarly, generic theory, which previously tended to operate on transhistorical assumptions, is now acknowledging that genre interacts crucially with cultural context - with changing audiences and ideologies and means of dissemination. The generation into which Spenser and Shakespeare were born was the last to be brought up on a wide range of medieval romances in their original forms, and they could therefore exploit their generic codings in new texts aimed at both elite and popular audiences. Romance may since then have lost much of its cultural centrality, but the universal appeal of these same stories has continued to fuel later works from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress to C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.
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