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Of Reynaert the Fox

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

André Bouwman
Bart Besamusca
Translated by Thea Summerfield
Matthias Hüning
Ulrike Vogl
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 368
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  • Book Info
    Of Reynaert the Fox
    Book Description:

    The mid thirteenth-century Dutch beast epic Van den vos Reynaerde is a fascinating reworking of the most popular branch of the Old French Roman de Renart and one of the finest examples of this popular genre, consisting of a lengthy cycle of animal tales which provided a satirical commentary on human society. Featuring the archetypal sly fox, the epic is also one of earliest examples of a longer literary work written in the Dutch vernacular. This charmingly illustrated edition contains the first-ever version of the Dutch text with a facing English translation, making the undisputed masterpiece of medieval Dutch literature accessible to international scholarly audiences otherwise unable to read the narrative in the original. The critical text and the parallel translation are accompanied by an introduction, interpretative notes, an index of names, a complete glossary, and a short introduction to Middle Dutch, making it an excellent choice for undergraduate or graduate study of medieval European literature. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-0233-2
    Subjects: Education, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 7-7)
    André Bouwman and Bart Besamusca
  4. [Illustration]
    (pp. 8-8)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 9-40)

    If theTimes Literary Supplementwere to ask its readers which works they considered to be supreme masterpieces of medieval literature, what would be the result? No doubt theChanson de Rolandwould figure prominently, as would the Arthurian romances by Chrétien de Troyes. In all probabilitySir Gawain and the Green Knight, Wolfram von Eschenbach’sParzivaland Gottfried von Strassburg’sTristanwould also be listed. In addition, Dutch readers of theTLSwould be certain to make a case forVan den vos Reynaerde(literally: ‘Of Reynaert the Fox’). This Middle Dutch beast epic is famous among specialists, but...

  6. Text, translation and notes
    (pp. 41-246)

    About the translation– The English translation of Willem’sVan den vos Reynaerdeaims to present readers who are not familiar with Middle Dutch with a narrative that may be enjoyed in its own right, while it follows at the same time the Middle Dutch text as closely as is reasonably possible. Lines are kept parallel, unless this would result in distorted grammar and style, but any lack of parallelism never extends beyond two or three lines. Thus readers of the translation will find it easy to refer to the original text. Tenses in medieval – including Middle Dutch –...

  7. Editorial principles
    (pp. 247-256)

    This edition ofVan den vos Reynaerdeis based on the redaction in the Comburg manuscript (Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Cod. poet. et phil. 2° 22). This codex consists of six parts;Van den vos Reynaerdeis found in the fourth. It was written by scribe E, and runs from line 22, halfway down folio 192va, to line 3 on folio 213rb. Wherever a new column begins in the manuscript, a folio and column number is stated in the right hand margin of the edited Middle Dutch text.

    There are two reasons why the Comburg redaction was preferred to the redaction...

  8. Middle Dutch – A short introduction
    (pp. 257-272)
    Matthias Hüning and Ulrike Vogl

    Middle Dutch is the term used for the language varieties spoken between approximately 1150 and 1500 in the territory covered nowadays by the Netherlands and Flanders, the part of modern Belgium, where Flemish – the southern variety of the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands – is spoken. At that time there was no standard variety of Dutch, ‘Middle Dutch’ does not, therefore, refer to one specific language: it is a collective term used to designate several dialects spoken over several centuries. This implies a huge variation in the grammatical structure, the pronunciation and the spelling of Middle Dutch. Middle Dutch...

  9. Further reading
    (pp. 273-278)

    Although reference is often made to ‘the’Reynaert, the work’s transmission shows that there is not one ‘Reynaert’. First of all, there are two, not just one, Middle Dutch poems about the fox:Van den vos ReynaerdeandReynaerts historie(sometimes referred to asReynaert IandReynaert II). But even if we limit ourselves here toVan den vos Reynaerde, it must be stressed that there is no single, unequivocal text. There are five manuscripts, the oldest of which dates from the end of the thirteenth century and the youngest from the beginning of the fifteenth century. These five...

  10. Index of proper names
    (pp. 279-282)
  11. Glossary
    (pp. 283-346)
  12. Word index (semantic fields)
    (pp. 347-356)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 357-366)
  14. List of illustrations
    (pp. 367-367)
  15. Contributors
    (pp. 368-368)