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The Song of the Cid

Anonymous - Author

Burton Raffel - Translator

Maria Rosa Menocal - Introduction by

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ISBN 9781101029145 | 288 pages | 31 Mar 2009 | Penguin Classics | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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From a legendary translator: a magnificent new rendering of Spain's national epic

Venture into the heart of Islamic Spain in this vibrant, rollicking new translation of The Song of the Cid, the only surviving epic from medieval Spain. Banished from the court of King Alfonso, the noble warrior Rodrigo Diaz, know as the Cid, sets out from Castile to restore his name. In a series of battles, he earns wealth and honor for his men and his king, as well as fame and admiration for himself. But it is in rescuing his daughters from their ill-suited marriages that the Cid faces the ultimate challenge to the medieval heroic ideal.

"A powerful epic of loyalty and betrayal-and victory in battle. Burton Raffel . . . renders The Song of the Cid in a lively, dramatic yet informal style that conveys the heroic yet humorous tone of the original [and] memorably conveys the qualities that enliven the poem: a combination of heroic grandeur, humor and the careful observation of human failings."
-The Wall Street Journal

"With a wonderfully informative introduction by Marķa Rosa Menocal, this welcome translation by Burton Raffel gives us a Song of the Cid-the foundational medieval epic poem of the Iberian peninsula-that retains the excitement and fast pace of the original."
-Edith Grossman

"In the spirit of Robert Fagles' renditions of Homer, Burton Raffel makes a rich oral tradition immediate to us again. His Song of the Cid is a lesson in translation: in a way that seems effortless, it transports the reader to a past that at first sight appears closed. Along with his warhorse, Babieca, Mio Cid once more tests his knightly limits while showcasing the religious tensions of medieval Spain. The original text made available alongside the English turns this edition into a feast."
-Ilan Stavans, author of Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language

"A brisk and instantly captivating new English version . . . Raffel's rendition serves to remind readers of the straightaway power of oral narratives . . . and captures much of the genius of the poem."
-Marķa Rosa Menocal, Yale University (from the introduction)

"An accurate, energetic, and much needed translation of The Song of the Cid. The rhyming and flow are elegant and measured. They beautifully reflect the dashing lines and excitement of the poem. A remarkable achievement."
-Francisco LaRubia-Prado, Georgetown University