Parzival and the Stone From Heaven: A Grail Romance Retold For Our Time

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9780007134496: Parzival and the Stone From Heaven: A Grail Romance Retold For Our Time

The story of Parzival has exercised a powerful fascination for writers, artists, and thinkers ever since it was written in the early 13th century, yet the density and complexity of the poem have made it almost impenetrable to a wide readership, even in translation. This new version is lively, accessible, and inspirational, staying faithful to the spirit of the original while highlighting the contemporary relevance of its themes.

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About the Author:

Acclaimed author Lindsay Clarke won the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Fictionwith Chymical Wedding and is also well-known for Alice's Masque. He has an extensive knowledge of mythology and legend and runs workshops in the UK and abroad.

From Publishers Weekly:

The story line may be familiar, but Clarke does a solid job of bringing to life the world of the Arthurian legends in this retelling of Parzival's quest for the Holy Grail. The story opens with a brief account of the adventures of Parzival's father, a war-happy knight named Gahmuret who forsakes his new bride to go in search of conflict and glory, only to be killed in battle. From there, Clarke shifts to the son's tale, alternating accounts of Parzival's initial encounter with the Grail with the lusty meanderings of Gawain, a knight whose desire for romantic adventures is just as strong as his yearning for battle and recognition. Parzival's first encounter with the Grail throws his family into temporary disgrace and, when a witch curses him for his folly, he must go back and find the Grail a second time to square his accounts with the magic-oriented morality of the medieval world. Clarke, a scholar who provides a lengthy and thoughtful afterword to fill in the blanks for modern readers who are unfamiliar with Arthurian culture, certainly knows his material as well as his audience. But the nature of the story limits him to a wearisome alternation between battle scenes and love conquests, the one intriguing exception being Gawain's adventure in a house of horrors called Castle of Marvels that is controlled by an invisible evil magician named Kilgore. The craft and research that are obvious behind the writing will ensure Clark an audience among aficionados of medieval fiction, but there's nothing compelling enough in this particular retelling to earn him a wider audience.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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