Saturday, April 16

Peter Ackroyd: The Death of King Arthur

A retelling of Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. From the author's note on the text-
I have tried my best to convert Malory's sonorous and exhilarating prose into a more contemporary idiom...I have also chosen to abbreviate the narrative in pursuit of clarity and simplicity. I hope that by these means the essential story of Arthur and his knights emerges more clearly...I have also quietly amended Malory's inconsistencies. Despite these alterations, I hope that I have been able to convey the majesty and pathos of the great original.
Yes, Mr Ackroyd, you have succeeded admirably. Though the language is modern, the style is true to the medieval original. The writing voice is very much that of the early historian detailing events, with just a touch of the bard telling his tales. I have been a long time lover of Arthurian Romance, and while I enjoy the modern tales that make use of the traditional characters there is nothing quite like the original story. This translation might not be for everyone but it is essential reading for all Arthurian fans.-Lynn

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