Michelant: Part 8

She [Andrivete] replies [xv] that she has never heard anything like it, even though she is of this country, and demands he tell her the details. So Dinadan recounts the rumours that concern her, adding that he is all the more sure than when he left Arthur’s court only two days ago, where Kay received the news from a wise and loyal knight, the lady’s seneschal, whose conduct is highly blameworthy, because the king was prepared to come rescue her and give him his land, in the event that she were to marry Kay. She tells him that he is falsely informed, and while they discuss, Epinogre appears and with him Hector de Maris, who defies the two knights and knocks them down, both wounded. Dinadan curses his bad luck and, above all, this absurd custom to give battle to all and sundry. Andrivete in her turn jeers at his misfortune and threatens to follow him; but he flees to a hermitage to heal himself and she goes to rest at the home of a woodsman who welcomes her kindly. For his part, the messenger sent by Kay learns that all the rumours people have spread about Andrivete are false; he finds all the country risen in support for her; he searches, but in vain, to find her, and informed that she has left secretly, he returns to his master who is disconcerted by such unfortunate events.

The same day Gawain proposes to Girfflet that they go to the fountain of Merlin, where they cannot fail to have some kind of adventure. Indeed, no sooner are they arrived than they are assailed by a troop of knights. A bloody fight ensues, following which they take Girfflet prisoner, who Gawain cannot save because he has lost the bit for his horse; he runs in haste to Carlion to get another one, but at his return he finds no one on the field of battle, and he despairs for the loss of Girfflet, in spite of the efforts of his friends who attempt in vain to console him. Next they arrive at a river so large and so deep that not one of them dares to attempt the crossing; besides, they find no trace on the riverbank of the horsemen who have crossed it, and Gawain returns from the place completely devastated, while the knights that [xvi] have seized Girfflet drag him along the edge of the woods, very displeased to not have been able to capture Gawain to take him to their lord, Escanor king of the Great Mountain, who has vowed a mortal hatred of them.

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6 Comments

Filed under introduction, language, Michelant, nineteenth-century French

6 responses to “Michelant: Part 8

  1. J. T. Heyer

    I see parts 3-8. Is there a 1 & 2?

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    • Hi, if you click on ‘older posts’ at the bottom of the page they should turn up, alternatively you can search by the tag ‘translation’ and that should (hopefully) bring up all the Michelant posts.

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      • J. T. Heyer

        Thank you for your swift reply. Thank you also for this translation of Michelant’s summary. since, as you note re: Names and Naming, that there are only the scantest of “Escanor” summaries available in English. This holds for various critical papers which provide more detail than do Bruce and Loomis and such writers, but largely in non-sequential fragments which can give a somewhat distorted sense of the original plot.

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  2. I am working on a very long term Arthurian research project in which “Escanor” plays a part. It will not be ready for publication for years, I expect, but I would like to refer to your translation of Michelant’s summary. How would you like yourself and your website credited?

    And again, I heartily encourage you to translate more from Michelant.
    Best wishes.

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    • Hello,

      Thank you for your message, I would love to hear more about your project! Mine too will probably not be ready for a few years because in order to have the proper resources I hope to do it as a postdoc, which will probably involve several rounds of applications that may or may not be successful. If not I will of course continue with the translation, but at a slower rate. At the moment I am writing up my doctoral thesis for an April hand-in, so translation on Escanor and the French scholarly material has slowed while I focus on that – apologies for the long wait on Michelant! I will get back to him soon. However, it would be great to talk in more detail about this, so do feel free to contact me at phoebe.linton@ed.ac.uk.

      Best wishes

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      • Jeffrey T. Heyer

        Thanks for your response. There is certainly no need for you to apologize for being focused on your thesis. I’ll contact you again in a bit when I have a little more to say. Thanks again.

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