Thomas Malory as “Translator” and the Role of “Source Study” in Malory’s Tale of the Sankgreal

David Pecan


Malory’s Tale of the Sankgreal affords the student of the text an opportunity to examine Malory’s treatment of his French source material, and consider his reworking of details in his version of the Grail Quest with theoretical parallels to issue present in the field of both translation studies and “translator studies.”  In particular, Malory’s recasting of seemingly minor details in his text provides insight into his characterization of the knight Sir Gawain, and as such, illuminates ways in which his version of the narrative differs from the French original and serves to illustrate his attitudes as a writer, wishing to develop an economical and psychologically realistic character portrait, as well as indications that Malory, as a fifteenth century English translator of a previously established French repertoire, appears to have struggled with some of the same issues inherent in current theoretical assessments of the process of literary translation.

Keywords: Malory, Arthurian, Gawain, Translation, Sources, Dreams

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