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Old 04-18-2005, 01:31 PM   #1
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Arthurian scholarship- film and literature

Hey everyone! I just got back from Plymouth State University's Medieval and Renaissance Forum. This was the second time I attended, though I've only moderated sessions thusfar and have not presented a paper. I did present a paper at an undergrad conference on Shakespeare last fall at Virginia Military Institute, and was encouraged to revise it for presentation at Plymouth, but it didn't come together in time for submission. So I'm getting a head start for next year. I'm a biiiiiig Arthurian fan, and I want to do something with either contemporary Arthurian fiction or Arthurian film. Even though most Arthurian film is TERRIBLE.

Literature at my disposal

Le Morte D'Arthur - Sir Thomas Malory (I have both original and modernized versions, both based on the Winchester manuscripts)
Arthurian Romances - Chretien De Troyes (Erec and Enide; Cliges; Lancelot; Yvain; Percival)
Idylls of the King - Lord Alfred Tennyson
The Mabinogian - (Welsh stories, some of which concern Arthur)
The Once and Future King - T.H. White
Taliesin - Stephen R. Lawhead (first in Pendragon cycle, dealing with Merlin's father and birth, leading through other books focused on Merlin, Arthur, and the Grail)
Isolde: Queen of the Western Isle - Rosalind Miles (First in the Tristan and Isolde novels)
The Life of King Arthur - Wace and Leoman (Arthurian sections from works translated from Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.
I am Mordred - Nancy Springer (young adult literature told from Mordred's perspective)
The Mists of Avalon- Marion Zimmer Bradley

Films at my disposal
The Sword of Lancelot
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
First Knight
King Arthur
Mists of Avalon

If I go with film, I'll probably do treatments of Guenivere and/or Lancelot in different films. If I do contemporary fiction, I'll probably look at Bradley and Lawhead in terms of religion. Bradley is, of course, overwhelmingly druidic and anti-Christian, and Lawhead is (too) didactic in his focus on Christianity. I think Arthurian Literature is good because of the balance, and while I like both writers' versions of the story, I do find the absolute division of the two perspecites to be frustrating. Any suggestions as to other films or books?

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Old 04-18-2005, 02:23 PM   #2
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This is interesting. I have Bradley's book but I've never read it. For whatever reason, I never got into the Arthurian Cycle, maybe because I'm weak in the literary department. My background is social science. I do know that there are different points of view on just about everything in the Arthurian Cycle. What on earth was the Grail? Who the heck was Arthur, anyway? Those two questions do interest me, but that's it.

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Old 04-18-2005, 10:28 PM   #3
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I used to be really into Authurian legend when I was about 13 or so, but haven't read much since apart from Kevin Crossley-Holland's Authur trilogy, which is very, very good. A friend of mine did her English MA dissertation on something to do with Authurian literature, but I'm not sure what exactly.
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