TRISTAN by Hannah Closs


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The late Hannah Closs wrote a middle-register medieval trilogy dealing with the Albigensian Crusade. This is a retelling of the Tristan story, which certainly needs no retelling here since it is the conventional one reconstructed (in her words) with ""imaginative emotion."" The former may be questioned; the latter is largely of an exclamatory nature. As for the characters, none are ever processed beyond the unidimensional heroic stance of legend. Probably the appeal of any variant version is the way in which it is written: Miss Closs indulges in a very poetic prose and dangles jewel-toned images and adjectives (fulgent, pellucid, et al). ""Even the sea slept, lulled in caves and crannies washed black and oozy with the waves beating, or, lifting a drowsy curl of foam, encircled some fretted pinnacle with dreaming blue."" Or purple?

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1967
Publisher: Vanguard