Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Robert De Clari: La Conquête De Constantinople

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Robert De Clari: La Conquête De Constantinople

Article excerpt

Robert de Clari: La Conquête de Constantinople, édition bilingue, ed. and trans. Jean Dufournet, Champion Classiques: Moyen Âge 14 (Paris: Champion, 2004). 336 pp. ISBN 2-7453-1135-2. euro10.00. If never as famous as Villehardouin's Conquête de Constantinople, Clari's can hardly claim to be a forgotten masterpiece; nevertheless, as the most recent edition dates from the 1950s, there is good reason for this new version. Dufournet's introduction is excellent, providing a historical, cultural, and literary background to Clari's text which will be of great value to anyone approaching this work for the first time - and indeed, not only for the first time. The edition itself is a conservative one, adding capital letters and punctuation but preserving all graphies and original text divisions: each chapter appears as a solid block of text, with no subdivisions, and is not always an easy read. For the translation, Dufournet lists his principles: 'l'exactitude, la modernité, la vigueur, l'agrément et la brièveté' - a combination of such mutually incompatible qualities as to seem almost wilfully self-defeating, particularly when he adds that he will ignore one of the major stylistic features of Clari's work, repetition, while at the same time remaining 'fidèlement exact' to what the chronicler says. …

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