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Tristan: With the Surviving Fragments of the 'Tristran of Thomas' (Penguin Classics) Paperback – July 30, 1960
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About the Author
Visit her website at www.jacquelinthomas.com.
Arthur Thomas Hatto, FBA (1910 2010) was a scholar of medieval German literature and, especially after his retirement from the University of London, where he served as Professor of German from 1953 to 1977, the comparative study of oral heroic epic poetry. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of the School of Oriental and African Studies, of which he had served as a Governor, and a Corresponding Member of the Finno-Ugrian Society. His other publications include translations from Middle High German poems for Penguin Classics: Tristan (1960), the Nibelungenlied (1965), and Parzival (1980); the edition and translation The Memorial Feast for Kokotoy-Khan (Kokotoydun A ): A Kirghiz Epic Poem (1977); general editorship of Traditions of Heroic and Epic Poetry (1980 1989), the two-volume proceedings of the London Seminar on Epic, which Hatto chaired from 1964 to 1972; Essays on Medieval German and Other Poetry (1980); and The Mohave Heroic Epic of Inyo-Kutavere (1999).
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Top Customer Reviews
Hatto's editorial contributions, consisting of an Introduction and 7 Appendices, give as much information as most readers will require. One can sense the effort of will Hatto needed, to stop himself writing volumes more.
So how good a story is it? Well, it's a classic romance, from a time when sexual relations were being redefined, and which has provided inspiration for countless other romances since, most notably Romeo and Juliet. It does not read like a modern novel, for the very good reason that it isn't one. It is a medieval German poem translated into modern English prose, so much of the underlying social logic, and many of the aesthetics, will inevitably be lost to us. But it does contain some very memorable moments and it stands as an important milestone on the progress of western literature, and as an invaluable insight into European medieval culture.
But if you are reading this book I assume you are not reading this simply for enjoyment while waiting for Dan Brown's next Work. You are probably reading this in some sort of acedemic setting whether it be in univesity or your own pursuit. Here is where the book should be really useful. The introductrion which includes much of the orginal text and explains how the story developed into what makes up the body of the text. There are footnotes on nearly every other page and while I prefer more I wont say that they are necessary.
This is a great work for study of Middle Ages German literature. This work was written in the 13th Century which is the start of a great awakening of the spirit and the time that can be called the high middle ages. Beyond this this is also a great romance and a readable story. No matter on what level you choose to read this work it should be satisfying and be a work what you will want to reread.
- Ted Murena
This book should be taught in every high school. Not likely, though. It is so fundamental to modern mythical thinking, it is virtually taboo.
Gottfried caries on the romatic tradition and creates a love tringle between Isolde, Tristan, and King Marke. The legend of the doomed lovers unfolds in the classic tradition that ends (albeit abruptly) in tragedy. Gottfried's poem is unfinished but the book also contains the translation of Thomas' "Tristan" as well.
The book omits the connection to the Court of King Arthur but it does not detract from the legend. This book is closer to Beroul's Tristan and the 2006 movie staring Franco, Myles, and Sewell rather than the 15th century "Le Morte D'Arthur" by Malory. I recommend this version of the tale over all the others I've read!
Penguin Classics are of uniformly high quality, and this book is no exception. The translation is by renowned medieval scholar A.T. Hatto, with an excellent introduction, helpful notes, and a number of supplemental pieces including glossaries of geographical and character names from the text for enhanced readability.
Is Gottfried's TRISTAN truly the best? Of course that is always going to be debatable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A golden oldie as far as I'm concerned. Readable in its own right,
and an excellent crib.
The earliest known forms of the legend of Tristan and his ill-fated love for the Irish princess Isolde date from around 1150. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014 by Steven Davis
I purchased one that was a little more banged up and that's what I got! You can definitely tell it's used but I knew that before buying it and was expecting that, so there aren't... Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by Rhianna Antonopoulos
First off this is not a romance in the modern sense of the word. This is a story that was written long ago and is considered one of the best romance stories of all time. Read morePublished on November 17, 2003 by Kristi Ahlers