Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America 2007
CD ISBN 978-0-7927-5041-3 $64.95 Six CDs
DD ISBN 978-0-7927-5144-1 $39.95
Armitage’s new translation, which preserves the alliterative verse of the Middle English original, introduces a new generation of readers and listeners to the unique beauties of this strangest of fourteenth-century Arthurian romances. Alliteration is no longer in high esteem in English verse, and often sounds singsongy to the modern ear. Consequently, many may feel, listening to Armitage’s excellent introduction, that they are understanding the dynamics and aesthetics of alliteration for the first time. Bill Wallis’s masterful reading of Armitage’s contemporary alliterative lines is preparation and tutorial for listening to his even more masterful reading of the Middle English original, on the final three discs. This dual experience is, compared to following the same lines on the page, akin to experiencing a film subtitled and one dubbed. For the audiophile, as much as for the student or scholar, these back-to-back renditions are a matchless pleasure, a revelation, and an expansion of the mind and ear. D.A.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine [Published: APR/ MAY 08]
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