Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids


E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Translated by W.S. MerwinAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by W.S. Merwin

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 208 pages
  •  
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • On Sale: March 30, 2004
  • Price: $15.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-70992-0 (0-375-70992-4)
about this book

A splendid new translation of the classic Arthurian tale of enchantment, adventure, and romance, presented alongside the original Middle English text.

Capturing the pace, impact, and richly alliterative language of the original text, W. S. Merwin has imparted a new immediacy to a spellbinding narrative, written centuries ago by a poet whose name is now unknown, lost to time. Of the Green Knight, Merwin notes in his foreword: “We seem to recognize him—his splendor, the awe that surrounds him, his menace and his grace—without being able to place him . . . We will never know who the Green Knight is except in our own response to him.”


“Wonderfully readable…Merwin’s decades of experience as a translator and his poetic intuition give him an advantage here. His Gawain is a graceful read and, at the same time, remains as true as possible to the sense and style of the original…These are the kind of nuances that word-worshippers will linger over–but not before rushing through the story first to get to the good parts.” —Sheila Farr, The Seattle Times

“Readers who enjoy a well-told story, not lacking in sex and violence but also endowed with a sense of moral purpose, will find a wonderful one here…Merwin’s translation has a directness and simplicity that can be quite powerful…Sir Gawain and the Green Knight endures—charming, strange, tantalizingly mysterious—and Merwin’s translation catches at least some of the gleam of its vanished world.” —Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times

"Gawain remains, centuries after it was written, a poem of uncanny power. It has the tapestried richness of legend, but also an astonishing psychological complexity. Its lines are elegantly wrought, but they propel us through an adventure filled with erotic entanglements, dire challenges, and mysterious landscapes. Here is that rare poem with both the epic dimensions of ageless myth and the eerie intimacy of last night's dream. The clarity, ingenuity, and force of W. S. Merwin's translation will enable a new generation of readers to discover a remarkable masterpiece.” —J. D. McClatchy