Nikki's Reviews > Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Unknown
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's review
Aug 23, 10

bookshelves: arthurian, medieval-literature, classics, poetry, myth-legend-saga-etc
Read in August, 2010

A readable enough prose translation, but not one I particularly enjoyed beyond the quality of the original poem itself. The language feels particularly false, for example, "And if ye will listen to me, but for a little while, I will tell it even as it stands in story stiff and strong, fixed in the letter, as it hath long been known in the land." Personally, I prefer translation to stick to idiomatic modern English, where possible: I wouldn't get away with doing my translations in this kind of language. It doesn't add authenticity, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not enamoured of the idea of skipping bits because it's not "relevant". Everything is relevant or can be found to have relevance, with close reading: the original text is incredibly rich in detail, which I feel should be reproduced.
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