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The Romance of Tristan: The Tale of Tristan's Madness (Classics) by [Beroul]
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The Romance of Tristan: The Tale of Tristan's Madness (Classics) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 180 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

The legendary version of illicit and tragic passion.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2286 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New Impression edition (31 Mar. 2005)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9HAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #273,521 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
It is usually the case that within a page or two of reading an introduction, the reader knows whether or not they are in the hands of a reliable editor and translator. Alan Fedrick inspires such confidence. His is a scholarly, readable prose translation, adequately but not overwhelmingly annotated. Beroul's account of the Tristan and Yseult legend (in others, the lovers' names appear variously as Tristram, Isolde, Iseut, etc.) is the oldest extant version, although it now exists only in fragmentary form. Its fascination lies partly in that it belongs to an older form of storytelling, with quite different conventions from modern forms. So be prepared for characters dying more than once, events occurring out of sequence, and plenty of unapologetic author intervention. Some of the plot elements are wonderful, and have been borrowed and reworked ever since, by Shakespeare and others. Some have become interwoven with the Arthurian cycle. Read this if you are interested in seeing how the art of fiction has evolved in Europe through the ages, or if you enjoy fables that have a folksy (and sometimes vulgar) flavour.
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Format: Paperback
Beroul's version of Tristan and Yesult is one of the earlist extant versions available. The story itself even so is a fragment, and with Alan S Fedrick's translation with have a beginning and ending supplied. Also here is provided a short piece called, 'Tristan's Madness'.

In todays modern world of storytelling this seems a bit clumsy, and indeed it would be better to be heard than to read this tale. It is full of contradictions and Beroul loves to get his word in every now and then. To modern readers this is also quite funny. Tristan and Yseult mistakenly drink a love potion that makes them fall into each other's arms, although Yseult is to be betrothed to the Cornish king, Mark. Those who tell King Mark of his wife's infidelity are accused by the author of being evil, but with the best will in the world, Mark is obviously being cuckolded. Even before the love potion is drunk it is obvious that Tristan and Yseult are in love, and when it wears off they are still in love.

With adventure and passion this is well worth a read if you are into medieval writings, otherwise you may wish to give this a miss. With a detailed introduction by Alan S Fedrick there is more than enough to get your teeth into here. This is an old tale that has appeared in many versions over the centuries, and is loved by a lot of people, but don't expect something in the style of how tales are written today.

Personally I loved this book, seeing in it a lot of comedy, but whether that was ever the original intention, who knows? If you want to read something different then this is well worth a go.
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Format: Paperback
Okay its written by Beroul, but noone knows exactly who he was and he appears to have spent some time in the old country - could have been Breton, Norman or Cornish, now no way of knowing. This version describes a forgotten kingdom lost to the passage of time; the forest of Morrois (Bodmin or Dartmoor?), the island of St Samson (St Michaels,St Nicholas or Looe?), Croiz Rouge (Carn Brea / Redruth?) Not surprising this became a classic of western literature, but this version comes from the 'vulgar' tradition so is probably most authentic to the real oral tradition.
It is a beautifully vivid and humane story with some hauntingly erotic scenes that can still make a modern man weep - sunlight falls from Mark's bare-chested grasp upon the sleeping face of Yseult ; his nephew sleeps innocent upon the grass; his naked blade thrust between them [ who needs Game of Thrones...?!]
the deep theme of true love is rather philosophical - we are left questioning throughout whether it is a madness affliction or a drug-induced delusion - when the spell wears off, these two 'lovers' seem to be mechanically clanking together in a state of deep confusion.
The Germanic, chivalric versions are stolid, macho, puritanical and artificial by comparison with the original born of the physical mystery of mind and body; Beroul feels more like Chaucer or Shakespeare, with the bardic magic of Mabinogyon, high and low art woven with insightful ambiguity into real human experience.
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