The Knight and the Barrel (Le Chevalier au barisel)

Description
Le Chevalier au barisel is an established part of the Old French literary canon, but up to now it has not been available in English. This translation offers a vibrant but scholarly version of the exciting short story, suitable for a wide readership including university students, scholars of associated disciplines (history, English, theology, fine arts, comparative literature, etc.) and general readers. The greatest strength of the book is the translation itself, which can be read without reference to the original text or alongside the medieval French. But also valuable is the apparatus surrounding the text: cultural rather than linguistic, explicative rather than excessively technical. A substantial commentary reveals the internal struggles of the protagonists, highlights existing research and suggests future lines of enquiry. This commentary is a freestanding work of rigorous scholarship that makes plentiful reference to the text.
Rights Information

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Endorsements

This is the first English translation of The Knight and the Barrel (Le Chevalier au barisel). The engrossing text feeds off numerous traditions: epic (unruly barons), romance (codes of courtly behaviour), stories of outsiders (the protagonist is all but an outlaw), comic texts (it is recorded alongside fabliaux), pious materials (hermits preaching penance), and miracles (a true miracle takes place). This lively translation offers for a wide readership a vibrant but scholarly version of an exciting short story. It is suitable for university students, scholars of many associated disciplines, and the general reader. The Knight and the Barrel is a brutally intimate portrait of conversion. It recounts a journey from near-outlaw to saint, from damnation to salvation. It tells of a bold, bad baron, who is persuaded by his knights to visit a hermit for confession. However, he does so in a spirit of such stubbornness that he refuses to repent regardless of his many crimes. Eventually, after much wrangling and great physical hardship, there is true repentance. Different types of story merge in this one very readable short story of 1084 lines. The reader will recognise numerous aspects reminiscent of epic, beast epic, romance, fabliaux, exempla and Saints' Lives. The protagonist eventually (if begrudgingly.) finds salvation in a quest redolent of many medieval genres and traditions. It deserves to be read by the widest possible audience. The Old French text is reproduced in a facing-page format for reference. Numerous explanatory notes are provided as is a rich introductory essay.

Reviews

This is the first English translation of The Knight and the Barrel (Le Chevalier au barisel). The engrossing text feeds off numerous traditions: epic (unruly barons), romance (codes of courtly behaviour), stories of outsiders (the protagonist is all but an outlaw), comic texts (it is recorded alongside fabliaux), pious materials (hermits preaching penance), and miracles (a true miracle takes place). This lively translation offers for a wide readership a vibrant but scholarly version of an exciting short story. It is suitable for university students, scholars of many associated disciplines, and the general reader. The Knight and the Barrel is a brutally intimate portrait of conversion. It recounts a journey from near-outlaw to saint, from damnation to salvation. It tells of a bold, bad baron, who is persuaded by his knights to visit a hermit for confession. However, he does so in a spirit of such stubbornness that he refuses to repent regardless of his many crimes. Eventually, after much wrangling and great physical hardship, there is true repentance. Different types of story merge in this one very readable short story of 1084 lines. The reader will recognise numerous aspects reminiscent of epic, beast epic, romance, fabliaux, exempla and Saints' Lives. The protagonist eventually (if begrudgingly.) finds salvation in a quest redolent of many medieval genres and traditions. It deserves to be read by the widest possible audience. The Old French text is reproduced in a facing-page format for reference. Numerous explanatory notes are provided as is a rich introductory essay.

Author Biography

Dr Anke Bernau is Lecturer in Medieval Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester;

Bibliographic Information
  • Pub date: November 2018
  • English
  • 9780719097881 / 0719097886
  • United Kingdom
  • Manchester University Press
  • Readership: General/trade
  • Publish State: Published
  • Dimensions: 216 X 138 mm
  • Series: Manchester Medieval Literature and Culture
  • Reference Code: 6586