A contemporary prose rendering of the great medieval French epic, The Song of Roland is as canonical and significant as the Anglo-Saxon Beowulf. It extols the chivalric ideals in the France of Charlemagne through the exploits of Charlemagne's nephew, the warrior Roland, who fights bravely to his death in a legendary battle. Against the bloody backdrop of the struggle between Christianity and Islam, The Song of Roland remains a vivid portrayal of medieval life, knightly adventure, and feudal politics. The first great literary works of a culture are its epic chronicles, those that create simple hero-figures about whom the imagination of a nation can crystallize, observed V. S. Pritchett.The Song of Roland is animated by the crusading spirit and fortified by national and religious propaganda. This edition features W. S. Merwin's glowing, lyrical translation.
A clear modern prose translation of Chaucer's masterpiece of Middle English storytelling by the acclaimed poet David Wright.The Canterbury Tales has entertained readers for centuries, with its comic animal fables, moral allegories, miniature epics of courtly love, and rollicking erotic farces that bring fourteenth-century England to life on every page. The gloriously varied stories, narrated by a group of pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, are peopled with saints, sinners, and ordinary mortals in a vivid panorama of the medieval world. This prose translation renders these tales as accessible and irresistible to modern readers as they were to Chaucer's contemporaries.
In the aftermath of a heartbreaking tragedy, a scholar and writer uses Dante's Divine Comedy to shepherd him through the dark wood of grief and mourning--a rich and emotionally resonant memoir of suffering, hope, love, and the power of literature to inspire and heal the most devastating loss.
Where do we turn when we lose everything? Joseph Luzzi found the answer in the opening of The Divine Comedy "In the middle of our life's journey, I found myself in a dark wood."
When Luzzi's pregnant wife was in a car accident--and died forty-five minutes after giving birth to their daughter, Isabel--he finds himself a widower and first-time father at the same moment. While he grieves and cares for his infant daughter, miraculously delivered by caesarean before his wife passed, he turns to Dante's Divine Comedy for solace.
In a Dark Wood tells the story of how Dante helps the author rebuild his life. He follows the structure of The Divine Comedy, recounting the Inferno of his grief, the Purgatory of healing and raising Isabel on his own, and then Paradise of the rediscovery of love.
A Dante scholar, Luzzi has devoted his life to teaching and writing about the poet. But until he turned to the epic poem to learn how to resurrect his life, he didn't realize how much the poet has given back to him. A meditation on the influence of great art and its power to give us strength in our darkest moments, In a Dark Wood opens the door into the mysteries of Dante's epic poem. Beautifully written and flawlessly balanced, Luzzi's book is a hybrid of heart-rending memoir and critical insight into one of the greatest pieces of literature in all of history. In a Dark Wood draws us into man's descent into hell and back: it is Dante's journey, Joseph Luzzi's, and our very own.
The greatest of the late medieval Scots makars, Robert Henryson was influenced by their vision of the frailty and pathos of human life, and by the inherited poetic example of Geoffrey Chaucer. Henryson's finest poem, and one of the rhetorical masterpieces of Scots literature, is the narrative Testament of Cresseid. Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, the Testament completes the story of Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, offering a tragic account of its faithless heroine's rejection by her lover, Diomede, and of her subsequent decline into prostitution and leprosy. Written in Middle Scots, a distinctive northern version of English, the Testament has been translated by Seamus Heaney into a confident but faithful idiom that matches the original verse form and honors the poem's unique blend of detachment and compassion.
A master of high narrative, Henryson was also a comic master of the verse fable, and his burlesques of human weakness in the guise of animal wisdom are delicately pointed with irony. Seven of the Fables are here sparklingly translated by Heaney, their freshness rendered to the last claw and feather. Together, The Testament of Cresseid and Seven
An invaluable source of pleasure to those English readers who wish to read this great medieval classic with true understanding, Sinclair's three-volume prose translation of Dante's Divine Comedy provides both the original Italian text and the Sinclair translation, arranged on facing pages, and commentaries, appearing after each canto, which serve as brilliant examples of genuine literary criticism. This volume contains the complete translation of Dante's Paradiso.
The women mystics of medieval Europe represent the very first feminine voices heard in a world where women were nearly silent. As such, they are striking and unusual, strange, powerful and urgent. Monica Furlong uses key selections from among these women's own writings and writings about them by their contemporaries, along with her own assessment of them, to open up their contributions to a wide popular audience. The eleven women represented in this anthology were housewives, visionaries, abbesses, beguines, recluses, and nuns who wrote between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. They include: H loise, the scholar and abbess, whose letters to Abelard are treasure of medieval literature. Hildegard of Bingen, the visionary Rhineland nun. Clare of Assisi, the close friend of Saint Francis and founder of the Poor Clares. Catherine of Siena, an influential spiritual counselor whose book, Dialogue, consists of a debate between herself and God. Julian of Norwich, the English hermitess who spent the greater part of her life meditating on and coming to understand the striking visions she received as a young woman. and many others...
&&LDIV&&R&&LDIV&&R&&LI&&RThe Canterbury Tales&&L/I&&R, by &&LB&&RGeoffrey Chaucer&&L/B&&R, is part of the &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R&&LI&&R &&L/I&&Rseries, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of &&LI&&RBarnes & Noble Classics&&L/I&&R: &&LDIV&&R
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate