jan_can_too (jan_can_too) wrote,

Book Report: The Song of Roland

Because I wanted to be particularly unemployable, I emphasized medieval literature while I was majoring in English. Well, maybe not, but it worked out that way. (Fortunately, I learned to type.) What really happened was that I fell in love with the stories, from Chaucer to Chrétien de Troyes to the monks who preserved the Lebor na hUidre.

Since I was also studying French at the same time, I got a smattering of Old French and a little contact with La Chanson de Roland. The story is a familiar one to me: rash Roland, faithful Oliver, kingly Charlemagne, and treacherous Ganelon playing out their roles against the background of war with the Moors in Spain.

Syd cleaned out his bookcases, and, as is the rule with all books, I am entitled to pick what I want out of the rejects. Somehow he felt he could part with Dorothy Sayers’s translation of Roland. Naturally, I snapped it up. It was awesome. Everyone was there, hacking and slashing. Knights got split in half all the way down through their destriers, slices got taken out of people’s heads, revealing the very bones of the skull, bowels gushed out, brains smashed, and all the usual war business. Famous swords, Joyeuse (which T. and I got to see when we were in France!) and Durendal, did their skillful work. Armor gleamed with gems. Horses snorted. Enemies plotted.

Two thumbs up (on the basis that it gets to stay on the shelf and I would definitely give it to T.R., if no one else).

  • Dog Days

    Summer is here and the living is… complicated. I had been hoping for lazy times, fruity drinks, time in the sun. Not so much. Because Rick has…

  • End of Spring Reading

    Today is T.R.’s last day of school, so it is time to tally my spring reading. Not the world’s greatest totals this time around, but I have…

  • Book Report: Bitterblue

    A friend of mine was having a birthday, so naturally, I headed for the bookstore. A couple of years ago, she borrowed Graceling from me and loved…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.