So, last week brought a pleasant surprise: the arrival in the mail of Verlyn Flieger's new book (always a good thing): ARTHURIAN VOICES. This is a collection bringing together two independent but related works: AVILION and THE BARGAIN.* The first retells LE MORTE D'ARTHUR, the second SIR GAWAIN & THE GREEN KNIGHT. I contributed a back-cover blurb, which reads as follows:
In Avilion, Verlyn Flieger brings to life the personae of the Arthurian legend, specifically those in the works of Sir Thomas Malory. She offers the chance to hear the familiar story anew, giving the characters, major and minor, a chance to speak in their own distinctive voices. Out of a mosaic of perspectives emerges a heartbreakingly believable array of tales, as each character tells the story as it appeared to him or (significantly) her.
If Malory is the first of the great Modern English Arthurians, the Gawain-poet is the last of the great Middle English Arthurians. In The Bargain, Verlyn Flieger takes us behind the scenes and into the heads of the cast of Sir Gawain & the Green Knight, one of the most subtle of the great medieval Arthurian tales.
To this shd be added this evaluation by Arthurian scholar Richard West in his Preface to the work
In Avilion Flieger has brilliantly retold the life of
King Arthur in short compass in the multiple voices and
viewpoints of major characters in the legend. In The Bargain
she delightfully recasts a single adventure of one of Arthur's
nephews and knights in dramatic dialogue . . .
Prepare to be entertained.
--current reading: Lindsay's A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS, Adams' GIRL IN A SWING, Garth's THE WORLDS OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN, and much misc. matter.
*which I always think of by its original title, MR. GREEN