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The Fall Of Arthur (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 23. Mai 2013

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Praise for The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun: "This is the most unexpected of Tolkien's many posthumous publications; his son's 'Commentary' is a model of informed accessibility; the poems stand comparison with their Eddic models, and there is little poetry in the world like those" Times Literary Supplement "The compact verse form is ideally suited to describing impact... elsewhere it achieves a stark beauty" Telegraph


An incomplete but highly compelling retelling . . . An action-packed, doom-haunted saga, full of vivid natural description. New York Times Book Review
The Fall of Arthur recounts in verse the last campaign of King Arthur, who, even as he stands at the threshold of Mirkwood, is summoned back to Britain by news of the treachery of Mordred. Already weakened in spirit by Guinevere s infidelity with the now-exiled Lancelot, Arthur must rouse his knights to battle one last time against Mordred s rebels and foreign mercenaries. Powerful, passionate, and filled with vivid imagery, this unfinished poem reveals Tolkien s gift for storytelling at its brilliant best. Christopher Tolkien, editor, contributes three illuminating essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur, reveal the deeper meaning of the verses and the painstaking work that his father applied to bring it to a finished form, and explore the intriguing links between the poem and Tolkien s Middle-earth.
Compelling in pace, haunted by loss, it lives up to expectations. Daily Beast
Erudite and beautiful. NPR.org
J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892 1973) is the creator of Middle-earth and author of such classic and extraordinary works of fiction as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. His books have been translated into more than sixty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Although it has nothing to do with the famous and wonderful middle-earth, reading Tolkien about Arthurian Mithology is just pleasing. The Analysis and comparison made by Christopher are also worth reading. Nice piece of literature for those who have some understanding of the arthurian legends
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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen 91 Rezensionen
158 von 166 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Tolkien: Beyond Mallory 24. Mai 2013
Von John Raffauf - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Readers who have an interest in Arthurian literature should find this interesting for its exposition of Tolkien's source choices. Those who are only interested in Middle Earth, may have trouble associating this book with the Tolkien they know. Christopher provides some help in bridging the gap. Those who are expecting a full-fledged Arthurian experience will be disappointed.

Most of the English speaking world knows of Arthur through Sir Thomas Mallory's 15th century version of the stories. With few exceptions, what appears in the popular media is based on Mallory. The exceptions generally ignore the vast earlier base of Arthurian literature, borrow a few names and incidents, and invent new relationships between the characters and create new narrative. The film King Arthur (2004) is a good example of this.

Tolkien made a conscious choice to focus on the most "English" aspects of the legends.

Arthurian literature before the 12th century would fit on part of one page. Geoffrey of Monmouth sparked interest in the Arthurian stories, starting around 1150, when Arthur was included in his History of the Kings of Britain. Monmouth gave us about 33 pages of Arthurian "history". This was followed by an avalanche of writing in French and German that lasted 100 years, until around 1250. The English versions of the stories first appeared 100 years later, in 1350. One of these was the West Midlands Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, translated by Tolkien and Gordon in 1925 while they were professors at Leeds. The other was the Stanzaic Morte D'Arthure. Gawain and the Stanzaic were used as sources for the Alliterative Morte D'Arthure around 1400. The Stanzaic and Alliterative were sources for Mallory. Gawain is borrowed from Briciu's Feast, an episode in Irish mythology, and adapted to the Arthurian legends.

The importance of this is that Tolkien took the most direct "English" path to Monmouth when choosing his sources. As Christopher states in the comments accompanying the poem, Tolkien used the vein starting with Monmouth, then to the Alliterative, finally to Mallory. This is as close as he could get to an "English" version. Monmouth was born in England, of Breton parents. Mallory was also influenced somewhat by continental versions of Chretien a Troyes and the Post Vulgate, but Tolkien seems to have expanded on Mallory's choice to ignore important aspects of the post-Monmouth continental versions, like the role of Lancelot. He seems to have been interested in purging the continental influences not already present in Monmouth.

It may surprise some that Tolkien, a scholar of language and mythology, once wrote (1951) that England "had no stories of its own..., not of the quality I sought". In the same paragraph he notes the Arthurian legends are "imperfectly naturalized, associated with Britain, but not with English". The Lord of the Rings and its accompanying literature were his attempt to create a mythology for England. It was published starting in 1954.

Tolkien's first attempt to write his own mythology started in 1914. A 28 page "Sketch of the Mythology" was written in 1927. Tolkien started The Fall of Arthur sometime before 1933 and it was abandoned by 1934. He never returned to it. In 1937, he submitted an early version of what became the Silmarillion to the publisher of The Hobbit. The timing of The Fall of Arthur seems to indicate a fleeting hope that he could convert Arthurian literature into a myth for England. However, it is impossible to ignore the many ties this body of literature has to the continent, especially France. Connections to the continent even appear in his brief start, which includes Frisians, and for which the bulk of the text is concerned with Arthur's trip to the continent, leaving Mordred in charge, and Arthur's return from France. Lancelot is French. Many stories in the wider body of the French and German stories are centered on what is now France, especially Brittany. Echoes of this even appear in The Lord of the Rings. "Rohan", for example is a place in Brittany where the plateau meets the rougher ground of Brittany. "Mirkwood Forest" seems to be patterned after the Forest of Broceliande, in Brittany, which is connected to many Arthurian legends, especially those of Merlin, Palamedes, and others.

If the story had been completed, it would attract a larger audience. As it is, it is rather specialized. Those of us in that audience, are very grateful for it.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent for J .R. R. Tolkien's verse 29. April 2014
Von Harrington B. Laufman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The Fall of Arthur is short and tantalizingly incomplete, but J. R. R. Tolkien's Modern English alliterative verse is masterful and often breathtaking.

The poem is forty-four pages of the 220 some page book. The remainder is likely nice for readers unfamiliar with the Arthur stories and poems, but offers little or no new material (the only reason for four stars instead of five).

Nevertheless, I am happy to own the book for J. R. R. Tolkien's alliterarive verse. I re-read the poem twice within a week. I'm sorry there isn't more, but I'm delighted with The Fall of Arthur we have.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Anything by Tolkien has to be good 28. Juli 2013
Von Lirenel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I consider myself a Tolkien fan - not just of Lord of the Rings, but also his other works, like Sigurd and Gudrun. There is simply one reason for this book to get one less than five stars, and it was nothing Christopher Tolkien could help - the fact that there is actually so little of the poem.

People looking for a long poem on the fall of Arthur will be disappointed. There are only about 4 short cantos, and it doesn't even get to the 'meat' of the story. What you read this book for, is the commentary by Christopher Tolkien. He gives a history of the development of the poem in relation not just to other aspects of Arthurian literature, but in relation to his father's work on the Lost Road and the Silmarillion.

Some people might not realize it, but we owe a lot to Christopher Tolkien's long work on his father's writings. He *is* the J.R.R. Tolkien expert, and it is interesting to read his work here. This book is truly more Christopher's than his father's. That doesn't mean it isn't just as good.

So, to wrap up: Don't expect a long poem - read it for the commentary. And it would probably behoove you to have at least a passing background in Arthurian literature. I can see this book being used in Arthurian literature college courses in the future.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen this book is a nice addition to your library 16. Dezember 2014
Von BeanyUrza - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The part of the book that is The Fall of Arthur was shorter than I was expecting but the rest of book more than made up for that. I didn't realize how little I knew of the Arthurian legend until I read this book. And if you have an interest in Old English poetry the section on Alliterative poetry will be quiet interesting. Of course, if you're a Tolkien fan outside of the Hobbit and LOTR, this book is a nice addition to your library.

Overall, a good read for general Tolkien (works outside of The Hobbit and LOTR) fans and people interested in alliterative poetry.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Worthy Read for Tolkien Fans 26. Juni 2013
Von Joseph Finley - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
The Fall of Arthur is an unfinished poem published many decades after Tolkien's death, but I am very glad it was. The poem is written in the Old English style (think Beowulf), and the only real knock is that it remains incomplete. It starts out with King Arthur, Sir Gawain, and their warriors heading overseas to fight the Saxons in their homeland, only to leave Camelot unprotected from Mordred's treachery. Mordred is the singular villain of the poem, and early on seeks to abduct (and do worse) to Queen Guinevere. Meanwhile, Lancelot is living in exile in Benwick following his affair with Guinevere, but he longs to return to the service of his friend and king. This is how the story sets up, but unfortunately we never learn the ending, though it should be well-known to most fans of Arthurian fiction.

Fortunately, The Fall of Arthur offers a lot more than just an unfinished poem. An engaging Forward by Christopher Tolkien explains his father's love of Old English poetry and offers explanations for why the poem may have never been finished (hint: it may have to do with that other little story he was working on - The Lord of the Rings). The book also contains a fascinating discussion of the origins of Arthurian myth, including the work of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory's Tale of the Death of Arthur. I never knew how far out Monmouth's work went, including a supposed account of Arthur defeating the emperor of Rome! Who knew? Fortunately, Tolkien's poem is a bit more historically based - Saxons, not Romans, is a good thing, even if it's unlikely that Arthur ever sailed to Saxony. In addition, the book includes an interesting discussion about Gawain and Lancelot, as well as an essay on the poem's evolution and a surprising chapter on the unfinished poem and its relation to The Silmarillion.

In short, there is a lot more to this little book than an unfinished poem about King Arthur. Rather, it stands as a wonderful reference on early Arthurian legends and Tolkien's love of epic poems. For true fans or Tolkien or Arthur, this book is a worthy read.
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