Le Chevalier de la Charrette
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Le Chevalier de la Charrette

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  767 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Lancelot ou le Chevalier de la Charrette a été composé vers la fin du 12ème siècle par Chrétien de Troyes et a fini par Godefroi de Lagny (dans le texte: «Le clerc Godefroi de Lagny a achevé La Charrette. Mais que personne ne lui reproche d'avoir continué le travail de Chrétien, car il l'a fait avec le complet accord de Chrétien qui l'a commencé.»: traduction de Daniel Poi...more
Paperback, 536 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Livre de Poche (first published 1180)
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Mark Adderley
Chrétien de Troyes’ poem, Lancelot, or, The Knight of the Cart, tells the story of Queen Guinevere’s abduction by Meleagant, a prince of the kingdom of Gorre, and his liberation of all the prisoners Meleagant has held there. It is also the first extant poem to give an account of Lancelot’s adulterous love for Guinevere. In many ways, it’s an odd poem. The first half seems almost Messianic, with Lancelot (unnamed by Chrétien at the time) destined to rescue the prisoners in the land of Gorre from...more
Softymel
Ah l'amour courtois... comme c'est bizarre... Ainsi donc, le brave Lancelot, meilleur chevalier d'entre tous les chevaliers, se ridiculise au nom de son amour pour la reine. Reine qui, soit dit en passant, trompe allègrement le roi Arthur sans l'ombre d'un remord...

Le personnage de Lancelot dans cette version de l'histoire est particulièrement fade. Il ne vit que pour la reine, pour faire ce qu'elle lui demande, peu importe si cela le ridiculise auprès de tous. Peu importe même qu'il risque sa v...more
Chelsea K.
Yessssss, it's so fun to see the origin of Lancelot. What happens in this romance is by no means all encompassing: rather, it's a small snippet of, ultimately, only one of Lancelot's journeys. You can tell that it's the first of the stories in the Lancelot tradition by how not-really-focused it is on the affect of the adulterous romance on King Arthur's court. That obsession comes later.

One of the interesting things about this is Chretien's motivation. To write for Marie de Champagne, obviously...more
Meghan
Chrétien would be so chagrinned. Himself profoundly antipathetic towards adulterous love, he introduced the world to the most popular adulterous couple of all time, surpassing even his unfavorite, the Tristan/Iseut juggernaut, which he alternately bashed and deconstructed in Cligés.

To be fair, I wouldn't say his handling of the Lancelot/Guinevere romance was exactly wholly responsible for the subsequent popularity of the pairing. Although he includes a perfunctory love scene where a bloody-finge...more
Celine
Lancelot: The Knight of the Cart is one of the first stories we have about Lancelot, king Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In this story the queen gets kidnapped and Lancelot has to face many enemies to get his love back.

I read a Dutch prose translation of the original. Of course the archaic language was simplified, but I was still surprised how readable Lancelot is over 800 years after it was written. It is such an easy and engaging story, it didn't feel like a chore at all. Its writ...more
Matt
This is one of the best things I've ever read. I don't even like Lancelot all that much as a character (he's kind of a lovable rogue, minus the lovable), but this particular work is just unbelievable fun from the front to the back. Definitely worth the read if you like anything related to King Arthur or chivalry in general. It takes something special to make me like it in spite of the subject matter. It's only too bad that Chretien didn't finish it himself; I can't help wondering what would have...more
Aimen
I could rant about how much of a bore this book was, but it was worth reading. Words are useless if they can't emotionally bond to you, so I got a bit sleepy reading this. I still liked the idea, the focus on adultery and immodest damsels. It made me think about the deep-though analysis of the century it took place in. In other words, the story was a good book to discuss, not really a light read for fun. History is a weird thing...
Rob
Burton Raffel's translation of this wonderful Old French classic is well worth the read. The story seems both familiar and strange at first, since it involves the characters of the Arthurian world we have come to know and love, but in their first incarnations. Lancelot, who remains unnamed through a good part of the text pursues Guinevere through the lands of Logres and Gorre after Kay has foolishly tried to fight Maleagant for her.

I have been working on my own translation of the Old French whi...more
Koda
I read this with my mom and we could not stop laughing. What a stupid story, Lancelot takes forever to get to Guinevere, and the dialog is so long that it is ridiculous. e.g a young women is being raped by a Knight a ask the unknown Knight (Lancelot) for help in a way that is in it self half the page!
It is a Knightly soap opera and as a person who finds soap operas idiotic I guess I should of known better.
I love Arthurian legends wit all my heart and as such find the idea of an incompetent Kin...more
Noah
A beautiful romance, and probably my favorite of Chretien's for both its tightness and its imagery. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale. Cline's translation, too, was very good, avoiding forced rhymes and modernisms to a very satisfying degree. Unfortunately, though, I found Lancelot to be more difficult to read than her others (particularly Yvain), and I think this comes from a preference, not from her skill. Most of her rhyming couplets seem to form semantic pairs, making it for me more difficult to...more
Sebastián
Tres estrellas porque no me gustó la "agilización" y modernización del lenguaje. Hubiera preferido uno que otro arcaísmo y una que otra reiteración para mantener el espíritu del original más acorde.

Ya entrando en el texto, es chévere reconocer todos los puntos básicos de la novela caballeresca, toda la idea de Amor Cortés y el estilo sencillo del ciclo artúrico; quisiera conseguir una edición menos modernizada para ver más en detalle esas cosas.
Emma
Story was traditional arthurian romance, nothing special honestly. I rated this so low, though, because this editor is so bad. Other editions use line numbers. This text uses giant chunked paragraphs, often containing all the dialogue without denoting who is speaking. It just runs together. It was very difficult to separate what was happening. Even my teacher disliked using this edition and recommended we find a better version, one with line numbers. I recommend checking out this story if you ar...more
Yann
Retour dans le monde du roi Arthur avec ce roman de chevalerie de Chrétien de Troie : la reine Guenièvre est enlevée par Méléagant, le fils du roi du pays de Gorre, après que sénéchal Keu (voir dans le Merlin de Boron ses relations avec Arthur) soit défait alors qu’il en avait la garde. Un chevalier inconnu part sur les traces de la reine, et faisant preuve d’autant de vaillance que de longanimité, souffre les pires dangers et les plus graves humiliations dans le but de retrouver celle qu’il aim...more
Dusty
The Arthur stories of the British/English-speaking tradition are the ones that are most famous, at least in this part of the world and in this century. However, Chrétien de Troyes's medieval Arthur romances, composed in France and under the patronization of a high-class lady, shouldn't be missed. This is the most famous one, and it adds meat to the otherwise skimpy story about the love between Lancelot and Guinevere.

I picked up a copy of Chrétien's complete Arthur tales, but I haven't worked my...more
Davewilson
I've read this once already, I'm going through it again to try to get more of the 'feel' of the work. This is classic romance epic of that age. If you want to glimpse into the idea of what love was for these people, this would be a good start, fast read...I think I will go through this one tomorrow. If you like it, or would be interested in reading more of these kinds of work, keep your eyes on the list, this is only on the first shelf
Mat
This was required reading in my French class when I was living in Provence back in 1996. My version had the original French (by that I mean the Old French which is so different from Modern French that it is almost unrecognizable in parts) alongside the modern-day translation.
Great tale. The style of this book reminded me a lot of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
Highly recommended for French scholars in particular.
Anne
Ce roman assez simple et court donne un apperçu de la littérature du Moyen-Âge. J'ai lu l'édition larousse, qui est une version abrégée, et je la conseille à ceux qui voudraient découvrir rapidement et sans trop de détails les textes à l'origine des légendes arthuriennes. Ce livre va beaucoup me servir pour mon TPE, car il contient pas mal d'infos utiles dans l'introduction et le dossier à la fin.
Patricia
Je respecte le texte pour son ancienneté, pour être l'un des premiers textes de la langue française. Néanmoins, la qualité du texte est très pauvre. Peut-être que c'est excusable par le manque d'expérience en littérature qu'avait M. de Troyes (et probablement tous les gens de l'époque). Par contre, je crois que ça ne vaut pas la peine de le lire. L'histoire m'a semblé involontairement naïve.
HeavyReader
I read this in college and I remember nothing about it.

I had to read it for another honors class. Boy, those honors classes really did me a lot of good. I don't even remember anything about half of what I had to read. I would have done better taking a course in plumbing or car repair at the community college.
Cecily Robertson
Good, epic read. It'd probably be even more fascinating if you're really into medieval romances. I recommend the Lettres Gothiques version, as it has the old french on one side and modern french on the other. The English translation was written in verse, oddly. Would recommend the French instead.
Luana Torres
I enjoy the romance and chivalry. I don't like how the plot is so repetitive. I would have liked to see more interaction and chemistry between Lancelet and Guinevere.
Sarah
Another one of my favorite books. I loved every minute of this book. It was super fun and I would read it over and over again!
Alison220
Has to be the Ruth Harwood Cline translation. You should read all three. I PROMISE it won't disappoint...
Lucrecia
Me gustó. Recuerda un poco al personaje de Goofy. Despistado, enamorado. Muy medieval (lindo)
Morgane
A lot funnier and smarter than you would expect for something written in the Middle Ages.
Lauren  (YABookers)
I read this for a school project, but I actually rather enjoyed it.
Ana Victoria
De las lecturas más agradables que tuve en mis clases de literatura.
Jojo
Considering it was a school book, I didn't like it.
Casey
I enjoyed reading this. Basically, I like old stuff.
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20903
Chrétien de Troyes, commonly regarded as the father of Arthurian romance and a key figure in Western literature, composed in French in the latter part of the twelfth century. Virtually nothing is known of his life. Possibly a native of Troyes, he enjoyed patronage there from the Countess Marie of Champagne before dedicating his last romance to Count Philip of Flanders, perhaps about 1182. His poet...more
More about Chrétien de Troyes...
Arthurian Romances Yvain, or The Knight With the Lion Perceval, or The Story of the Grail Erec and Enide Romans de la Table Ronde: Erec et Enide, Cligès, Lancelot, Yvain

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