Mark Adderley's Reviews > The Song of Roland

The Song of Roland by Anonymous
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's review
Aug 26, 09

bookshelves: medieval-literature
Read in August, 2009

There's not much to say about The Song of Roland. It's a great epic, of course. Dorothy L. Sayers' translation is a little more poetic than accurate. She also disconcertingly changes the spellings of character names for metrical reasons or else for assonance. That's confusing. The introduction is excellent, though. And, once you've got used to the name thing, the translation is very readable. I prefer Glyn S. Burgess' translation that has essentially replaced Sayers'. Perhaps it's not as literary (he doesn't try to reproduce the assonance of the original, for example), but it's also a very readable translation with an informative introduction.
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Angie the translation I read by Charles Scott Moncrieff also uses multiple versions of character names for the purpose of the poetry. I suspect it may come from the original.

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