giovedì 10 novembre 2011

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, quarta edizione inglese 1946

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
A cura di J.R.R. Tolkien e E.V. Gordon
Oxford at the Clarendon Press
1° ed., 4° impr. 1946
Frontespizio The Lady of the Castle visits Sir Gawain
Rilegato con sovraccoperta (assente in questa edizione)

The first endeavour of this edition has been to provide the student with a text which, treating the unique manuscript with all due respect, is yet pleasant for the modern reader to look at, and is free (as are few Middle English texts) from a litter of italics, asterisks, and brackets, the trail of the passing editor.
The second has been to provide a sufficient apparatus for reading this remarkable poem with an appreciation as far as possible of the sort which its author may be supposed to have desired. Much of the literature that begins to gather about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, though not without interest, has little bearing on this object, and many of the theories held, or questions asked, about the poem have here been passed over or lightly handled – the nature and significance of the ‘test’; the sources, near and remote, of the story’s elements and details; the identity, character, life, and other writings of the author (who remains unknown); his immediate motive in writing this romance; and so on.
On the other hand, the more linguistic part of the apparatus, which is principally directed towards determining, as precisely as possible, the meaning of the author’s actual words (in so far as the manuscript is fair to him), is in proportion more extensive. The glossary, for instance, bulks unusually large. But to a certain extent the author has made this inevitable. While a full glossary is still essential for students of any Middle English text that merits a close and scholarly attention, the vocabulary and idiom of Sir Gawain deserve as much as even Chaucer’s best work (which has not received it) a full and careful analysis – one even fuller and more careful than has here been possible. The language is idiomatic, and the vocabulary rich. There are approximately(1) as many distinct individual words as there are lines in the poem: a new word for every line.
Our thanks are due to Mr. J.F. Sharpe for his kindness in answering questions concerning the geography of line ìs 696-700; to Mr. C.T. Onions for his help on several points, and for his constant interest; to Mr. K. Sisam for personal advice and help; to Sir Walter Napier for the loan of the late Professor Napier’s notes. The general debt of a pupil, still freshly remembering Napier’s skill in the elucidation of the difficult language of the poems of this manuscript, is thus greatly increased. Though not much of the present edition is derived directly from this source, it is noteworthy that many of the suggestions made independently by others are there found anticipated but unpulished.


(1) Words about 2690; line 2530

Sir Gawain e il Cavaliere Verde o Sir Galvano e il Cavaliere Verde è un romanzo allitterativo scritto in medio inglese e risalente al tardo XIV secolo narrante un'avventura di Galvano, un cavaliere appartenente alla Tavola Rotonda. In questo racconto Galvano accetta la sfida lanciata da un misterioso cavaliere completamente verde nei capelli, vestiti e pelle. Il Cavaliere Verde dichiara che permetterà a chiunque di infliggergli un colpo di ascia senza che esso si difenda se egli stesso potrà restituire il colpo esattamente dopo un anno e un giorno. Gawain accetta la sfida e con un sol colpo decapita lo sfidante, questi non muore ma raccoglie la sua testa, balza a cavallo e rimembra a Galvano che gli deve soddisfazione alla data concordata. La storia di Sir Galvano, impegnato nell'avventuroso viaggio per raggiungere il luogo prescelto ove riceverà il colpo, dimostra il suo spirito di cavalleria e lealtà.
Tolkien era responsabile per il glossario e per il testo del poema, mentre Gordon ha prodotto la maggior parte delle note di accompagnamento.

Seconda edizione corretta. I bordi delle pagine non sono tagliate. Gli ornamenti, titoli e autori sono in oro. I riferimenti sono presenti sul dorso della rilegatura.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight è un'edizione critica del romanzo Medio inglese. Tolkien era il responsabile per il glossario e per il testo del poema, mentre Gordon ha prodotto la maggior parte delle note di accompagnamento.

Questa edizione, al contrario di quella del 1930 (qui), sulla copertina non presenta nessun ornamento color oro o immagine.