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Archive for June 16th, 2006

This week, I start the prose translation (by Jessie L. Weston of From Ritual to Romance fame) of an Arthurian romance in verse format from the medieval Netherlands. It's probably a translation itself of a lost French continuation of the Lancelot and Perceval story, since that's the Dutch volume it's in.

I'd never encountered this story before, and I think it's wonderful. Morien himself is also pretty nifty, though when first encountered he's misunderstood. Our old buddy Gawain, Arthur's sister-son, gets the interesting kenning of "The Father of Adventure".

The tale's also perfectly paced for reading out loud; every branch of the story will take about half an hour to read. (A goodly length for the ladies in their bower to enjoy.) It's about six parts long.

Morien, Part 1

35:33

I was thinking of doing Lucan's Pharsalia, but I just couldn't get that serious in this lovely weather (and I thought y'all might suffer Roman overload). Anyway, that's more suitable for the months of Julius and Augustus.

Jessie L. Weston's famous book really is not that bad. It's just wrong, because it suffers from The Golden Bough's influence, like many folklore books from back in the day. The really glaring thing about Arthurian romance to today's readers is not how pagan it is, but how Christian — because we live in a more heathen society than those medieval poets did, or even Weston.

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