A Wheaton professor’s translation of a classic French novel has been chosen as one of 2013’s outstanding academic books.
The Romance of Tristan and Iseut, written by Joseph Bédier and translated by Professor of French Studies Edward Gallagher, was selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title of 2013. The new volume was published by Hackett Publishing Company in March 2013. (More info on the book is available from the publishing house.)
The editors of Choice, published by the American Library Association, compile the Outstanding Academic Titles list to recognize the most significant titles published during the past year.
The news came as a welcome surprise to Professor Gallagher. “It is always reassuring when friends and colleagues react positively to your work, but I am especially touched and greatly encouraged by this very public recognition that I’ve made a noteworthy contribution to scholarship.”
The book, which is based on medieval legends, had only one previous English translation, and that version was 70-years-old and peppered with archaic language.
“This edition by Gallagher (Wheaton College) stands out, however, because it is not a reworking of Belloc’s version but a translation of Bédier’s actual text,” Professor C.B. Kerr wrote in Choice’s review of the book. “Beautifully written, this modern English translation proves once again that the love of Tristan and Iseut endures beyond all limits of time and space.”
The new volume includes a host of explanatory materials to make the work more accessible for modern readers. The additions include essays on the legend written by Bédier himself and a scene found among the author’s papers that he had composed for the novel but never published.
Professor Gallagher talks about his inspiration for starting the translation and some of the challenges he encountered on the way. <more>