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Dutch Arthurian Literature: The Case of the Lancelot Compilation (The Hague, RL, 129 A 10) Utrecht University, January 11, 2010 Bart Besamusca

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Presentatie over: "Dutch Arthurian Literature: The Case of the Lancelot Compilation (The Hague, RL, 129 A 10) Utrecht University, January 11, 2010 Bart Besamusca"— Transcript van de presentatie:

1 Dutch Arthurian Literature: The Case of the Lancelot Compilation (The Hague, RL, 129 A 10) Utrecht University, January 11, 2010 Bart Besamusca



4 Sections of this lecture: 1. Identity of the compiler 2. Text collection 3. Compiler’s activities 4. Essence of the Lancelot Compilation

5 Section 1 Do we know the compiler of this text collection?

6 Lodewijk van Velthem (ca. 1270-1330) Author of: Spiegel historiael (‘Mirror of History’) Merlijncontinuatie (‘Merlin Continuation’)



9 Hier indet boec boec van Lancelote, dat heren Lodewijcs es van Velthem Literal translation: ‘Here ends the Book of Lancelot, which is Sir Lodewijc van Velthem’s’



12 Section 2 The text collection

13 Lancelots of the Lowlands QueesteArturs doetLanceloet Ca. 1280 Flemish VERSE translation Ca. 1260 Flemish VERSE adaptation (fragments) Queste del St. Graal Mort ArtuLancelotEstoire del St Graal Merlin & Suite Vulgate Old French Lantsloot vander Haghedochte Ca. 1300? PROSE translation (fragments)

14 The making of the compilation I QueesteArturs doetLanceloet QueesteArturs doetLanceloet Perch QueesteArturs doetLanceloet Perch Phase 1 trilogy Phase 2 insertion Perchevael Phase 3 outplacement Perchevael (+ corrector)

15 Moriaen The making of the compilation II Arturs doetLanceloet PerchMoriaen QueesteArturs doetLanceloet PerchWrakeRidderW&KWVTorec Queeste Phase 4, filing the gaps, result: Ms 129 A 10

16 Perchevael: adaptation of a Flemish translation of Chrétien’s Perceval Moriaen: adaptation of an indigenous (Flemish) narrative Wrake van Ragisel: adaptation of the Flemish translation of the Vengeance Raguidel Ridder metter mouwen: adaptation of an indigenous (Flemish) narrative Walewein ende Keye: adaptation of an indigenous (Flemish) narrative Lanceloet en het hert met de witte voet: adaptation of a Flemish translation/adaptation of the Lai de Tyolet Torec: adaptation of Maerlant’s translation/adaptation of the Torrez, le chevalier au cercle d’or

17 Section 3 The compiler’s activities

18 Doe quamense gereden binnen der stede. Daer sach her Walewein oec mede Alrehande ambacht maken Van so meneger, messeliker saken, Dat ict niet vertrecken conde; En doech oec niet te deser stonde. Then they entered the town.There Walewein saw all manner of crafts being conducted, so many and so various that I could not describe it; and there is no need at this moment.

19 Die goede man seide vort: ‘Om dat gi spraect dit wort, Soe seldi noch van derre joncfrouwen Pine hebben, bi mire trouwen, Ende u broder mede, Gariet, Salder ombe sijn gevaen met; Want dese joncfrouwe van hier binnen Sal u minnen met starker minnen Om dat gi die ridders sloget doet. Ende alsi u niet mach hebben bloet, Salsi uwen broder daerom doen vaen Ende salne doen geesselen ende slaen [...]’ Des was Walewein tongemake. Gi sult hier achter al die sake Wel verstaen ende oec horen, Alse die aventure comt te voren. The good man also said: ‘Because you spoke these words, you will undoubtedly be troubled by that damsel and your brother Gariet will be imprisoned by her. For this damsel will love you intensely, because you killed the knights. And if she cannot have you, she will have your brother caught and have him whipped and beaten [...].’ This grieved Walewein. You shall hear all about it, when the adventure happens.

20 Hi ontcramp Geneveren vor waer Tote recht in midden bene. Daerne was joncfrouwe ne gene, No vrouwe, diet anders conde gevallen: Die mantel en ontcramp hen allen, Selken min ende selken mere, Nadien dat si minden sere. It shrank on Guinevere, to be sure, to halfway up her legs. There was not a single maiden there, who could cause it to do otherwise: the mantle shrank on them all, less on one, more on the other, according to the power of their love.

21 ‘Ende om dese II soe ward daer saen Grote bliscap in die zale, Ende vanden mantele bleef di tale.’ ‘Dats mi lief,’ sprac Lanceloet’. ‘Ic hadde sorge harde groet Dat min vrouwe, die coninginne, al dare Iet mochte hebben jegen hare.’ ‘Neensi niet; het bleef vor waer, Ende thof sciet met bliscapen al daer.’ ‘Dies si God gebenedijt.’ And on account of these two, great happiness returned to the hall, and all talk of the mantle ceased.’ ‘I am pleased by that,’ said Lanceloet. ‘I was greatly worried that my lady the queen might then have been accused.’ ‘No, not she; it was left at that and the court broke up in good spirits.’ ‘For this, God be praised.’

22 Dus trocken si achter al in een Ende dorsten narre comen niet. Ic laetse bliven in dit verdriet Ende sal u tellen vanden coninc Arture, Wat hem gevel in dese ure. Die aventure telt ons te hant Dattie coninc van Irlant In Bertangen quam, Godweet, Ende stichte roef ende brant gereet. So they retreated all at once and dared not approach any closer. I shall leave them in their misery and tell you further of King Arthur, of what happened to him. The tale tells us now that the King of Irlant arrived in Bertangen, God knows, and immediately set about pillaging and burning.

23 Section 4 The essence of the Lancelot Compilation

24 Nu latic dese tale wesen Ende sal vorward tellen nu Van ere joncfrouwen, dat secge ic u, Die boetscap brachte ins conincs hof, Daer prijs an lach ende groten lof. Now I shall leave off this story [= Walewein ende Keye] and speak instead about a damsel, I tell you, who brought a message to the king’s court concerning great honor and praise [= Lanceloet en het hert met de witte voet]

25 Nu latic Torecke ende sijn wijf Bliscap driven al haer lijf Ende sal u vord doen verstaen Gelijc dat die aventuren gaen Indien vierden boec al bloet, Daer in stat harre alre doet Die ter tafelronden toehoren. [...] Dus indic hier den derden boec. God hude ons jegen sduvels vloec. Now I shall leave Torec and his wife to continue their lives in joy and shall next tell you what happens in the fourth book, which relates the deaths of all those belonging to the Round Table. [...] Thus I end here the third book. May God protect us from the devil’s curse.

26 Moriaen QueestePrologue Arturs doet Lanceloet PerchWrakeRidderW&KWVTorec

27 Hier voren hebbic u verplecht Van vele scoenre aventuren, Mar wildi vort int lesen duren, Ghi sult nu horen scone die jeesten, Bede van rouwen ende van feesten, Van ridderscape groete daet, Van selsieneheden menich baraet, Die dese partie hevet in. Before this I have told you many beautiful adventures, but if you continue attending the presentation of the text, you will hear beautiful stories, both of sorrows and delights, of great deeds of chivalry, great tales of astonishing things that this part contains.

28 Further reading Editions W.J.A. Jonckbloet (ed.), Roman van Lancelot, XIIIe eeuw, 2 vols. (The Hague, 1846-49); also to be found on David F. Johnson and Geert H.M. Claasens (eds.), Dutch Romances III: Five Interpolated Romances from the Lancelot Compilation, Arthurian Archives 10 (Cambridge, 2003). Studies Bart Besamusca, ‘The Medieval Dutch Arthurian Material’, in: W.H. Jackson and S.A. Ranawake (eds.), The Arthur of the Germans: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval German and Dutch Literature, Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages 3 (Cardiff, 2000), pp. 187-228; also to be found on Bart Besamusca, The Book of Lancelot: The Middle Dutch Lancelot Compilation and the Medieval Tradition of Narrative Cycles, translated by Thea Summerfield, Arthurian Studies 53 (Cambridge, 2003). Frank Brandsma, ‘The Lancelots of the Lowlands’, in: Carol Dover (ed.), A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, Arthurian Studies 54 (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 205-218. Geert H.M. Claassens and David F. Johnson (eds.), King Arthur in the Medieval Low Countries, Medieaevalia Lovaniensia I/XXVIII (Louvain, 2000).

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