Sue Burke (mount_oregano) wrote,
Sue Burke

Amadis of Gaul: ongoing project is ongoing

I’m still translating the medieval Spanish novel Amadis of Gaul at

I started in 2009, and I post a chapter, or a portion of a chapter, every other week. I’m now about two-thirds of the way through. I also occasionally post commentaries relating to the novel, the Middle Ages, and Spain.

The novel tells the story of the greatest knight in the world. After the printing press was invented, the book became Europe’s first best-seller, and it created a genre that echoes to this day as sword and sorcery.

You’ll find distinct differences to the present-day genre: a lot more fighting, for example, because the novel was written by people who knew how exactly to hack someone to death in a melee or joust, and who appreciated a good fight.

You’ll also find varieties of supernatural beings and a kind of Christian magic that has been lost today.

You’ll find damsels who can dish it out as well as damsels in distress.

You’ll find that in medieval times, they laughed at different things. They enjoyed insults, too.

Finally, you’ll find characters whose lives are motivated by love yet limited by social standing and royal intrigue. There were no chastity belts, that’s for sure.

Dip into this treasure that shaped the history of literature. It’s still a good read.

— Sue Burke

Tags: amadis of gaul

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