Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: In a Modern English Version with a Critical Introduction

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 3, 2011 - Fiction - 224 pages
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The adventures and challenges of Sir Gawain, King Arthur’s nephew and a knight at the Round Table, including his duel with the mysterious Green Knight, are among the oldest and best known of Arthurian stories. Here the distinguished author and poet John Gardner has captured the humor, elegance, and richness of the original Middle English in flowing modern verse translations of this literary masterpiece. Besides the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, this edition includes two allegorical poems, “Purity” and “Patience”; the beautiful dream allegory “Pearl”; and the miracle story “Saint Erkenwald,” all attributed to the same anonymous poet, a contemporary of Chaucer and an artist of the first rank.             “Mr. Gardner has translated into modern English and edited a text of these five poems that could hardly be improved. . . . The entire work is preceded by a very fine and complete general introduction and a critical commentary on each poem.”—Library Journal
 

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Contents

1 The Poet
3
2 Conventions and Traditions in the Poems
13
3 The GawainPoets Vision of Reality
37
4 The Poets Dramatic Sense
42
Interpretation
50
6 Versification and Form
85
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
93
Notes
195
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

John Gardner (1933–1982) was a celebrated poet, critic, professor, essayist, and historian. He was the author of several acclaimed and best-selling novels, including Grendel and The Sunlight Dialogues. Prior to his death in a motorcycle accident in 1982, Gardner founded and directed the writing program at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

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