THE SONG OF ROLAND by Eleanor Clark


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Of all the chivalric tales none has more captured the mind of poets, musicians and artists than that of Roland and his brave defense of Charlemagne. Although this text provides all the details of the particular incidents which led to the heroic death of Charlemagne's nephew, it is phrased in such pedestrian language that much of the poetry of the story is dissipated. One should never, in reading this story, begin to wonder if, perhaps, the whole episode were not something of a presumption on the part of the French. But as it is related here, lacking the epic force which is intrinsic to the legend, many questions occur to the reader which normally would arise from a historical rather than literary text, and much of the stature of the hero is lost. It is difficult to believe that this is the author's intent.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1960
Publisher: Random House-Legacy