£3,744
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, September 25 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

Gawain and the Green Knight, adapted by Patrick Stuart

An illustrated translation of the Poem 'Gawain and the Green Knight', with images by Daniel Puerta and words by Patrick Stuart

Gawain and the Green Knight, adapted by Patrick Stuart

An illustrated translation of the Poem 'Gawain and the Green Knight', with images by Daniel Puerta and words by Patrick Stuart

£3,744
pledged of £10,000pledged of £10,000 goal
138
backers
5days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Wed, September 25 2019 6:00 PM UTC +00:00.

About

This is a Kickstarter for a hardback book of the poem 'Gawain and the Green Knight', as re-translated by me, laid out by Maeto Diaz Torres and illustrated by Daniel Puerta;

If you want a copy, look on the right for the version being sent to your area and hit that button.

There are no extras, levels or other stuff. It's just the book. If we make more money than we need we either print more of the book or just split it evenly between the three principals.

........................

Welcome to the extended 'Gawain and the Green Knight' extended universe, Population: 2. 

(Arguably three if you include David McGrogans 'The Land of Rushes'.)

Every couple of years I get depressed and dive back into the Chivalric literature of the Renaissance and Early Modern period. In the Winter of 2016 I started reading through, and producing a version of, the poem 'Gawain and the Green Knight'

(It's not really a true translation. I stood a lot on Dr W.R.J Barrons facing translation and used that to do my own version. And I am very sorry to the memory of Dr Barron for the havoc I have wrought on the poem.)

The idea of doing a book, as in a proper, printed book, of my "translation", including illustrations, has been going for a long long time. As usual with OSR-adjacent stuff, you can get two out of quick, cheap and good, so we tried to go for the latter two qualities.

Daniel finished his images about two months ago, then I was travelling over August, now I'm back, so here we go.

Gawain is a strange story. Its a chivalric adventure story with almost no fighting or running about, and where the key moral challenge is about having the courage to submit yourself to an immediate, brutal and violent death without resistance, based purely on a point of honour.

And the hero fails.

Why on earth do I like this poem so much? 

Gawain and the Wirral

It pleased me a great deal, and still does, that Gawain passes through the Wirral on his journey. Even in a land as densely-historied as the U.K., its pretty rare for the place I grew up in to be mentioned in myth and legend. It is a land to which few go and which is not on the path between anywhere or anywhen. Except apparently the path between Camelot and the Green Chapel for a knight lost in midwinter and slowly freezing to death.

Gawain in Silent Titans

They are, if not part of the same "expanded universe", then at least paired texts. They spring from the same root and were conceived and conceptualised at roughly the same time. The Wirral Gawain goes through on his way to the Green Chapel is meant to be the same Wirral which the PCs encounter in a later age of the world as Silent Titans opens.

The creation of Silent Titans had quite a lot of challenges to it. One somewhat regrettable (although curiously appropriate) aspect is that this memory is missing. If the PCs defeat the Prismatic Demon and recover the Pentangle Shield, the following takes place;

"The Memory of the Shield

Seeing the Image of Mary on its inside will suddenly trigger a complex memory.

  • This is the Shield of Gawain.
  • Together you defeated Doctor Hog and sent the Titans to sleep.
  • You tricked a False and Cruel Knight into attacking the core of the Titan Birk.
  • This is the body floating in Birks final chamber.
  • This allowed Doctor Hog to think Gawain was dead.
  • And that caused him to reveal his final plan, to raise Chronos from the Afon-Mor.
  • The last thing you remember of Gawain was that he sought ‘The Green Chapel’."

So, originally, the intent of Silent Titans as a whole was quite different. It's not meant to necessarily be a 'downer' ending, and in fact, character courage and nerve is intended to provide a glimmer of hope, the knowledge that the PCs are not in fact monsters and the possibility of new adventures.

That makes answering reviews like this from Sheep and Sorcery  , rather difficult. Its a really interesting review, its just draws complex moral conclusions based on an incomplete version of the work.

My Dumb Translation

My translation, or not-quite translation is almost deliberately phonetically dumb. I tried to keep word shapes and sounds as close as I could to the original, so long as a roughly equivalent meaning could be found. I think this might be quite different to most academic translations, there people seem to agonise over the most precise and exact translation of the meaning of a word or phrase, regardless of how the sound-shape is distorted or expanded. That makes sense I suppose if you are translating something for the first time or trying to educate students about it, but it is a strange path to take outside those purposes.

Poetry, especially older poetry, is made of structure, sound-shape, the exact timing and placement of a syllable or the weighting of a word. That's essentially what it is to me, a flow of sound and meaning, totally integrated.

So I trusted to the line over the word, assuming that the overarching impetus and meaning of the poem was best carried by the flow of sound, that to distort *that* would be a much darker crime than faffing about with a singular word.

And I trusted to my impulse and had no real problem with the ridiculous or the modern.

The past gets a vote, but the present also gets a vote. Every modern translation is a lie, and has modern feelings and pseudo-ancient modern references tied up in its (necessary) illusion of sacred age. Mine is just a little more obvious with it and a little more uncaring of maintaining that illusion. (Or really just being a little bit of an edgy tit about pointing out that it is an illusion.)

All anyone is going to talk about is how there are swears in this version. I feel very slightly bad about at least one of them. Gawains courtesy is a deeply integral part of his character and social role in the poem, he really shouldn't be swearing. I think the only point where he does is right at the end where he is, not unreasonably, quite upset with the Green Knight.

My Weird Views on Gawain 

Look its very clearly based around a creepy sex game and has some gay themes and absolutely no-one ever mentions this and I have no idea why.

In the 'In Our Time - Gawain and the Green Knight' podcast (which I found to be excellent), they verge very slightly towards bringing it up until Melvyn Bragg harumphs and the issue is quickly discarded.

I have no idea why I am nearly the only person who talks about this, it doesn't even seem very provocative or edgy, at least compared to modern critical thinking. I can't tell if I am the only sane man in an insane world or if this is just one of those aspergers moments where everyone else is clearly getting a social signal which I am deaf to.

Well, good news for you I guess as my blog review of the poem where I go into exactly this issue is also included in the book.

And not only this, but I'm actually going to try to read the entire poem on Youtube over the next twenty days.

If you have questions, ask them. If you want a copy, hit a button. 

Risks and challenges

I'm meant to "be honest about the potential risks and challenges", sooo here we go.

- I have a long history of depressions and breakdowns. I can usually brute-force my way through these after a while so I wouldn't expect it to knock me out, but it might delay things, and it means I'm terrible at 'building community' which I suppose makes it more likely for the Kickstarter as a whole to fail.

- Organisation and accounting aren't exactly my strong point. The Kickstarter as a whole is arranged to be as simple as possible. The main tricky think I'm trying is to INCLUDE POSTAGE. Production itself isn't expected to cost that much, really much of the money you are putting up goes to packaging, postage and Kickstarter fees.

I also stripped down all the extras, so there will be none of the fiddly ad-ons like stretch goals. The only stretch goal is to hopefully print more books and for all of the principals to make more money. (The profits are intended to be split 33/33/34 between Mateo, Daniel and I).

So in a way its quite a "bad" Kickstarter, with none of the marketing stuff everyone tells you to include, but its like that for a reason and thats to keep the level of complexity and the number of decisions and options *down*.

- Brexit. I have no idea what is going to happen with this. It might push up (or down?) the cost of materials, printing and postage. Most of you are in the U.S. or worldwide so postage *shouldn't* change much for you, for those of you in the E.U. it might. But postage is already included in the price of a pledge, so that's our problem. Once you pledge for a book we will do everything we can to get it to you.

- Printer trouble? This is my first time doing this so I have no idea. Its a local company though so should probably be fine? And there are other options available as replacement if they fall through.

- The main risk is that its a Kickstarter for a book of illustrated poetry, for quite a high value, so there is a real possibility it won't make it. That's really more of a problem for me than for you through.

- Text, illustrations and 90% of layout are, of course, all done.

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