The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165692 Message #3977100
Posted By: Anne Lister
16-Feb-19 - 12:09 PM
Thread Name: Out of the PhD tunnel: medieval storytelling
Subject: RE: Popping my head above the parapet
Thank you all for the positive comments!
As to the 13th century tale, yes, Leeneia, I studied it in medieval Occitan, and I'm planning to write a modern English adaptation - soon! There have been earlier English versions, one 19th century one by Alfred Elwes adorned with engravings by Gustave Doré (many of which are exceedingly misleading) and one from the early 1930s by Vernon Ives, an American who used archaic English for his re-telling and clearly intended it for children. There's an academic translation from 1992. But it has been largely disregarded in English, and not much better served in French, while in Spain it stayed popular via chapbooks (which were published up to the early 20th century), was mentioned in "Don Quixote" as one of the stories which impelled the Don on his adventures and even turned up in the Philippines, presumably taken there by the Spanish. Fun as the story itself is (and it is indeed fun, an early Monty Pythonesque take on chivalry) there's also a fascinating set of circumstances around its composition, at least in my opinion, and the thesis might easily have been twice the length if I'd delved into everything that I found interesting. I'm seriously considering writing a historical novel based on the facts.
There aren't any songs as such in the story, and I haven't been moved to create any as yet, although there are certainly references to troubadour poetic forms and substance, and there are parts of the story where I can envisage music happening. It isn't entirely clear how it would have been performed, although it was definitely intended for a listening audience rather than a solitary reader, and I've discovered that it is very unlikely to have been performed all in one piece, as it takes too long even in my modern English re-telling (which misses out some chunks for various reasons).
Yes, I'm in the UK.
And yes, perhaps a mod should change the title of the thread ...