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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Perceval (Arthurian Studies) Paperback – September 14, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

(An) excellent translation. (...) The most complete account of the Continuations in English, making the text usefully accessible to a wider audience. --Medium Aevum

Brewer is to be congratulated on its enormous contribution to Arthurian studies over past decades. […] Bryant has given us a delightfully fast-paced read which rattles along through quests, battles, beautiful maidens and enchantments. […] A wonderful addition to the Arthurian corpus. --Fortean Times

All serious students should have a copy. --Pendragon

Language Notes

Text: English (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Arthurian Studies
  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: BOYE6 (September 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843841029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843841029
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,827,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
For anyone who enjoys the legends of King Arthur this book is a must read. The story is a blend of commedy, adventure, and the magnificent all set in a world that is at times magical and bordering the superantural. The story contains the tales of two knights; Perceval and Gawain. While it is true that Chretian never did finish the book the result is more of a cliffhanger than a dissapointment. Burton Raffel does an excellent job translating from the origional french using the definative Pleiade edition as his reference. These masterpieces written by Chretian de Troyes are the inspiration behind the famous Le Morte Darthur by Sir Thomas Mallory. Enjoy.
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Format: Paperback
This unfinnished romance has inspired centuries of literature. Chretien was probably the most popular writer in the 12th century. Despite the age of the book the story is full of issues that concern us today. It is a comming of age story in which a boy becomes a man and learns of his ancestry and potential. It is also a story of spiritual discovery, and the encounter with mystery. The fact that the poem was left unfinnished makes it even more compelling. Chretien claimed that this book was rewritten from a source book given to him by Phillip of Flanders, his patron. Speculation about the nature of this source has run on for centuries. A recent analysis in _King_Arthur_ by Norma Goodrich, makes a good case that the source was real and that these Arthurian stories took place in southern Scotland. So maybe Percival is more than just one of the greatest works of fiction. I love to read direct translations of Celtic mythology, and this is amoung the best available. Easier to read than you might think, but still a challenge. One of my favorite books.
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Format: Paperback
Written by Chretien de Troyes in around 1180 under the patronage of Philip of Flanders, this medieval poem can be considered as the French take on the Arthurian legend. (Remember this was a time when England was ruled by French kings, so I suppose there was a lot of cultural exchange between the two countries). It's a very peculiar work, in that it is very funny, as Perceval, the protagonist of the story, is portrayed as an almost impossible fool who through his candor achieves success as a knight. Merlin doesn't appear here, but King Arthur does (as an aging and ineffective monarch), as well as Gawain and the Fisher King (with a very intriguing subplot dealing with the Holy Grail, reportedly the first mention ever in print of this mythical cup). Summing up, this is highly reccomended (and it's highly readable). Note: French filmmaker Eric Rohmer made in 1978 a very good adaptation of the poem called Perceval le Gallois.
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It's sad to think that Chretien de Troyes introduced his most enduring invention in a work he did not live to finish. We never learn what, precisely, the Grail is--though Chretien never actually names it "Holy"--or where it came from. Almost like the Fisher King or the Grail itself, the Grail's inventor gave us a symbol and disappeared.

Perceval is the last of Chretien's five surviving romances. The Grail and the poem's naive central character proved enormously popular in medieval Europe, spawning several continuations of the unfinished story (all summarized at the end of this edition) and many imitators, from Wolfram von Eschenbach to Richard Wagner.

The story is both easy and difficult to summarize--easy because, being unfinished, it is short and fairly straighforward, and difficult because, for the same reasons, it has no ending and the reader has no way of knowing how the plot would finally interconnect and resolve. The title character begins the poem as a young man, living in the forest with his overprotective mother who, for fear of his life, has shielded him from knowledge of chivalry and even his own name. Nevertheless, Perceval shows knightly instinct and when he encounters a group of knights by chance, he determines to travel to King Arthur and become a knight.

This he does in short order, though not after a series of Quixotic adventures caused by his literal interpretation of his mother's bits of parting advice. Upon reaching Arthur's court, the acerbic Sir Kay tells Perceval that Arthur has knighted him and that the red armor of a rebellious knight is his to take. Perceval misses the joke and kills the red knight, then sets off on another series of adventures, vowing not to return to court until he has avenged Sir Kay's slapping of a girl.
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This is a terrific read for those interested in the Perceval/Fisher King legend. I am not a fan of King Arthur or the Roundtable; I bought the book to read an original source for the Fisher King legend, which is central to male identity according to Jungian thinkers like Robert Johnson. The surprise was it's beautifully written. I cannot comment on the translation as I am not a French speaker, but even reading in translation, it is clear that Chretien de Troyes wrote passionately and made these characters come alive.
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