When a mysterious green knight arrives at Camelot one Christmas, only Gawain is brave or foolhardy enough to take up his challenge. First told in the late fourteenth century, this story is one of the most enthralling and beloved poems in the English language. Simon Armitage’s version is meticulously responsive to the dramatic intensity of the original. For this special edition, artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins has created a series of bold, richly textured screen-prints of the poem’s key episodes.
Reviewed by Christopher Rush in Slightly Foxed Issue 60.
Keeping Ahead of the Game
Most of us can respond with deep childhood memories to the line ‘I’m going to tell you a story’, words which we repeat to our own children and grandchildren; and this is the formula applied by the anonymous fourteenth-century author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, perhaps the greatest of Middle English poets, surpassing even Chaucer. His is a poem which appeals to the ear rather than the eye; its art is oral, and also linear in that it does not encourage its audience to flick the pages . . .
Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 60, Winter 2018
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