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Showing 1-2 of 2 reviews(3 star). See all 10 reviews
on 8 January 2017
Some time ago, after first beginning to immerse in the Grail literature, I read a translation of La Queste del Saint Graal by W. W. Comfort and I found it to be a very powerful read. I did not own a copy of the Comfort translation, but recently found that I had a copy of the Matarosso version. I begun to read the book recently and I must say that it simply does not come to life in the same way. I cannot speak critically on the accuracy of the translation in either case, and for most there are few differences, but this one is just somewhat lacking the magical transcendental element which I exprienced moving through the version I had previously read. It seems quite hard to find the Comfort translation, but if this book must be read in English I would recommend trying to get a copy rather than buying this book. I hope that one day the Comfort version may come back into print, but perhaps it is considered outdated in it's language (perhaps it is the more modern English which lets down the version currently for sale).
As for the material itself, and although I have not read in the original language, I must say that, although I found the ending to be less than expected, this is a quite profound work which for me has a place alongside sacred scriptures. As with the other well known works of the medieval Grail cycle, this goes far above and beyond the usually state Christian symbolism and spirituality, and anybody who has had any contact with further esoteric traditions will recognise great richness in these works. Perhaps Wolfram von Eschenbach's "Parzival" is amongst the most profound and most explicit in Hermetic character, but La Queste del Saint Graal is definitely a book speaking far higher than most would see. As my French improves, I greatly look forward to reading this in the original language.
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on 1 January 2004
This story of the legend of the Grail is considered one of the key works on that subject, but it failed to inspire me to saddle-up and take part in the quest. I had heard that this anonymous work from the early 13th century was rich in Celtic symbolism, but I failed to see that. What I saw was a far more Christian text where lofty ideals lead seekers to the most holy of relics. Galahad, the hero of the tale, is so devout and pure that it was very hard to relate and empathise with him. I much preferred Lancelot, whose sin of lust barred his way to a vision of the Grail. He seemed a much more realistic character, but his love of a woman sees him flounder on the quest.
There was also a distinct lack of bad guys and battles to keep us entertained, which made it seem like an action film without a car chase! There was no Mordred or Klingsor to get our blood racing and that leaves the book rather stale. However, it’s not all bad news. I believe every book has a redeeming feature and this is no exception. When King Arthur realises the quest for the Grail will break-up the Round Table, he calls his knights to Camelot for one last gathering, one last noble joust. His short meditation on this is one of my favourite quotes from any Holy Grail book. Knowing many brave knights will die on the quest, he says “Gracious lords, we have now clear proof that you will embark very soon on the Quest of the Holy Grail. And because I know that I shall never again see you all assembled as you are today, I would have in the meadows of Camelot a tournament so splendid that after our death our heirs will talk of it still”.
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