Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Of Reynaert the Fox: Text and Facing Translation of the Middle Dutch Beast Epic Van Den Vos Reynaerde

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Of Reynaert the Fox: Text and Facing Translation of the Middle Dutch Beast Epic Van Den Vos Reynaerde

Article excerpt

Of Reynaert the Fox: Text and Facing Translation of the Middle Dutch Beast Epic Van den vos Reynaerde, ed. with an introduction, notes, and glossary by André Bouwman and Bart Besamusca, trans. Thea Summerfield, including a chapter on Middle Dutch by Matthias Hüning and Ulrike Vogl (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009). 368 pp. ISBN 978-90-8964-024-6. euro24.50. Van den vos Reynaerde, composed by a certain Willem, probably in Flanders some time around the middle of the thirteenth century, and perhaps the most celebrated work of Middle Dutch literature, consists of some 3,470 lines of couplet verse based on branch I of the French Roman de Renart, known as Le Plaid ot Le Jugement. It formed the basis of a Latin verse translation Reynardus vulpes by Jan van Vlaanderen (1 250-9 1), preserved only as an incunable, and of a fifteenth-century reworking and continuation, Reynaerts historie, which also went into print and stands behind the later chapbook tradition and translations into other languages of the early modern period. Bouwman and Besamusca offer a new edition and English translation of the early Dutch poem, providing a conservative text of the Comburg manuscript (now in Stuttgart), which they have emended only in cases of 'obvious error' (listing these, with their justification, in an appendix) and referring the user to other editions (such as that by Hellinga, 1952) for the readings of the second complete manuscript (D) and three fragments (E, G, and J). …

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