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Pearl: A New Verse Translation in Modern English Hardcover – 24 Sep 2018
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John Ridland’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight made that fourteenth-century chivalric romance not only accessible but alive to our twenty-first century sensibilities. Now his translation Pearl, also by the anonymous Gawain Poet, does the same for that poignant dream vision. The poem’s formal complexities are still here, mutatis mutandis, but they enhance rather than obscure the story of a grieving father’s dream vision of his lost daughter in paradise. Six hundred years vanish, and the reader feels an intimate, profound emotional connection with the universal human experiences of loss, grief, and hope.
—Richard Wakefield, author of A Vertical Mile
An attractively readable translation, which makes a real attempt to convey the metrical beauty and intricacy of the original.
—Ad Putter and Myra Stokes, editors of The Works of the Gawain Poet
After reading John Ridland’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight some time ago, I thought, “Well, he’s done it now: doomed himself to never achieving anything as remarkable as this again, because it’s impossible.”
But I was wrong: his new translation of Pearl—an even more challenging work by the same anonymous fourteenth-century Gawain Poet—is equally musical and moves with the same charmed pace in the telling that is perfect for what is being told.
—Rhina P. Espaillat, author of Her Place in These Designs
[Ridland’s translation] gives all the satisfying chimes of a rhyme scheme without the usual straining of idiom.
—Maryann Corbett (from the foreword), author of Street View
About the Author
John Ridland, PhD, taught English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for forty-three years. His publications include A Brahms Card Ballad, first published in Hungarian translation, Happy in an Ordinary Thing; a book-length translation of Petöfi's John the Valiant; and his most recent translations of the Middle English anonymous poet's masterpiece, SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT (Able Muse Press, 2016) and PEARL: A NEW VERSE TRANSLATION IN MODERN ENGLISH (Able Muse Press, 2018). With Dr. Peter Czipott, Dr. Ridland has translated several other Hungarian poets, including Sándor Márai's The Withering World (Alma Classics, 2013) and Miklos Rádnoti's All That Still Matters at All (New American Press, 2014). In 2014 Askew Publications issued his epic poem, A. Lincolniad.
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