Friday, October 10, 2008

That /I/ again

Because both the language and literary fashions went in a different direction, Gawain and the Green Knight is nowhere near as accessible without a gloss as Chaucer. In translation, like a lot of medieval alliterative poetry, it loses a great deal, but since I think of writing as a performance, then I’d say Gawain is one of the great performances in English poetry.

I need to think about it in terms of narrative, but for now, although it’s one of the minor pleasures, I've always liked the total ambiguity of the lady's invitation: Ye are welcom to my cors/yowre awen won to wile, which potentially means everything from the polite and meaningless, “I am at your disposal” to the literal “My body is at your disposal”.

Which leads to the Devil in Love.

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