Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Owing to my sins my troubles have grown and my laments increased

Who is Zach Snyder and why should I care?

I guess he made some movies. Oh my god, he's making The Fountainhead, well I guess I know all that I need to know about that pasty white guy.

He's also "Developing 'Faithful' Retelling of King Arthur's Legend" (orz). I mean, okay? Which one? De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae by Gildas? Ok, Arthur's not mentioned by name but the Battle of Mons Badonicus is? Historia Brittonum? Annales Cambriae? Preiddeu Annwfn?

Do you see the point? We have 4 different works across 400 years, lol. A few more in 10th century CE, Pa Gur yv y Porthaur ("Who is the gatekeeper?") and Englynion y Beddau ("Stanzas of the graves") (might I just say that Welsh is badass and ya'll should be proper proud of your language, I love it).

6 more in 11th century, and in 12th century CE it just explodes. There's Tournai's De miraculis sanctae Mariae Laudunensis, which is an early witness to the legend of Arthur's survival, and Life of Saint Kentigern which mentions Merlin (Lailoken), to mention a few. In French and Anglo-Norman you have Tristan by either Bérouc or Thomas of Britain, de Troyes' poems, Robert de Boron's poems among other sources. Then you have Oberge's Tristan (lol, you don't need unique names) in German, Zatzikhoven's Lanzelet which is a rendering of a lost French tale of Lancelot, predating Troyes's Lancelot.

There is so much. You can't call your adaptation "faithful" because you cannot be faithful to so many sources. Fuck Snyder and his posturing.

Anyway. The reason why I wanted to bring this to your attention is this: there's a Hebrew translation of parts of the Vulgate Cycle (an influential literary cycle that consists of interconnected prose episodes in Old French, it focuses on the love affair between Lancelot and Guinevere); it's called Melech Artus ("King Artus") and you can buy it re-translated (and analyzed) to English (by Curt Leviant, who got to see the original manuscript and I am dying of envy). You can also read a less legal copy here.

If you speak Hebrew, you can read it here, too.

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