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Download The Song of Roland Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Song of Roland (Unabridged), by Michael A. H. Newth
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,331 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael A. H. Newth Narrator: Greg Marston, Summe Williams, Julian DouglasSmith Publisher: Italica Press Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Song of Roland is acknowledged today as the first masterpiece of French vernacular literature and one of the world's greatest epic poems. Written down around the year 1090, The Song of Roland finely crafted verses tell of the betrayal and defeat of Charlemagne's beloved nephew at the Pass of Roncevaux in the Pyrenees and of the revenge subsequently sought on his behalf. Although the identity of the surviving work's author cannot be known with certainty, his poetic genius cannot be doubted. His mastery of chanson de geste compositional techniques transformed an historically minor military setback - the ambush and slaughter of the great emperor's rearguard by a band of Basque highlanders in August 778 - into the most immediately popular and subsequently cherished artistic expression of medieval chivalry, kingship, national pride, feudal and Christian service in the Western world. The earliest extant example of a medieval chanson de geste (song of deeds), The Song of Roland's 4,000 lines represent the most famous literary celebration of Carolingian mythology from the Middle Ages.

Michael Newth's new verse translation of the Chanson de Roland - the first in English in over 50 years to preserve the full poetic diction of the medieval composition - recaptures the form, feel and flow of the original work in performance by restoring the genre's verbal music to the The Song of Roland. This translation of the Chanson de Roland meets the need for a new version of the great poem for English readers of the 21st century, and it also highlights its potential as a viable piece of performance art. The audio book includes brief selections of medieval music interspersed between various sections.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Ian | 2/19/2014

    " My favourite translation of Roland remains the one available for free on Project Gutenberg, but that hasn't stopped me from collecting various print editions over the past year. The first time I'd read Roland was the Merwin tranlation, a version which sacrifices poetry for getting to the bare bones of the story; it's hardly a chanson at this point. The upside to this is that it was much easier to understand the tale in terms of narrative. I like Sayers' more poetic approach though, being familiar with the story I can now appreciate the truly beautiful verse of the song. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brian | 2/14/2014

    " Rereading this great prose translation by one of my favorite poets for my class's project on epic heroes from around the world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Aimee | 2/6/2014

    " Ok, so a lot of contemporary readers get hung up on the whole Christian vs Muslim ideology. Putting that aside, however, there's lots to enjoy (even in translation): battles, brotherhood, men willing to swoon and faint and pour their hearts out, not just physically. Also, lots of time and description spent on swords and battle gear. Anyone who's anyone's decked out in gold & rubies; and, they name their swords. (The edition I read was actually the Glyn Burgess translation. It has a useful glossary & key passages in the original archaic French for reference.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael | 1/24/2014

    " A Medieval epic dating from c 1100. Translated by Dorothy Sayers who was the author of the Peter Wimsey novels. The epic is full of battles, traitors and vengeance. Comparable to the Arthurian legends as well as The Niebelungenlied. This is an easy read and a great introduction to the genre. "

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