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    Description

    The greatest of all the medieval romances about the Holy Grail, Parzival was written in the early 13th century. The narrative describes the quest of the Arthurian knight Parzival for the Holy Grail. His journey is filled with incident, from tournaments and sieges to chivalrous deeds and displays of true love. The poem influenced several later works, most notably Richard Wagner’s opera of the same name and Umberto Eco’s Baudolino. The text used in this recording is Cyril Edwards’ modern prose translation.

    Public Domain (P)2021 Naxos AudioBooks UK Ltd.

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de Parzival

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    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      5 out of 5 stars
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    • John
    • 17/07/2021

    Before Hearing the Story, Read the Introduction

    You'll find the entire introduction included in the print sample of Cyril Edwards’ translation on Amazon, and a good thing, too. Beyond tracing the development of the Arthurian tradition and placing Wolfram’s poem within that tradition, he offers a helpful roadmap through this rather tangled Germanic wildwood.

    Given the date of authorship (1200-1210?), I expected something akin to Chretien de Troye's romances. But as Edwards observes, the French poet, “is, if you like, Romanesque, clean-lined and restrained, while Wolfram is exuberant and Gothic”. Even Wolfram’s contemporaries thought this one a bit much. Be that as it may, it is also extremely enjoyable.

    As always with audiobooks, the narrator has a lot to do with that enjoyment. Leighton Pugh’s performance gets off to a rocky start, due either to a technical issue with the first few minutes of the recording or a hesitancy on Pugh’s part as he settles into the rhythm of Edwards’ prose. After that, everything runs smoothly.

    3 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Tad Davis
    • Tad Davis
    • 01/11/2021

    This one didn’t work for me

    Eschenbach is a tough nut to crack at the best of times. He writes in a digressive, allusive style, and his syntax is reportedly knotty and obscure. Unfortunately Cyril Edwards’ translation is one that tries to capture some of the difficulty of Eschenbach’s style in English — at least so the translator himself says. The result is great for study, especially with the excellent notes and glossaries that fill the Oxford Worlds Classics edition in print. But it makes a poor choice for audio, which includes none of the accompanying reference material. I found it often incomprehensible, and as a last resort pulled out my OWC edition to try to follow along.

    Even so, I found it tough going. Leighton Pugh is a wonderful narrator, and I have especially loved his readings of novels by Zola, but somehow he doesn’t click with this material. Ultimately I abandoned the audiobook and returned to my original introduction to the poem, the translation by Helen Mustard and Charles Passage. It’s an older one but feels newer. I don’t think it would work any better in audio, by the way — I think a successful version of Eschenbach in audio would require extensive adaptation and a little abridgement. The names in particular — aiyeee! Arthurian lore is filled with a varied cast, but Eschenbach’s German variations on French versions of British names sometimes results in a phantasmagoria of indecipherable alphabet soup. (At the very least, Naxos — my favorite publisher of classic audio literature in general — should have included the annotated List of People and Places that appears at the end of the OWC edition. This would have helped the unwary first-time listener keep Meljanz and Meljahkanz straight, and be able to tell Cunneware from Cundrie from Condwiramurs.)

    2 personnes ont trouvé cela utile