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One of the most influential storytellers in Western literature, French poet Chretien de Troyes helped to shape the ever-fascinating legend of King Arthur and the Round Table. Of Chretien's five surviving romantic Arthurian poems, the last and longest is Perceval, an unfinished work that introduces the story of the Grail -- a legend quickly adopted by other medieval writers and taken up by a continuing succession of authors. In Chretien's romance, Perceval progresses from a naive boyhood in rural seclusion to a position of high respect as a knight at Arthur's court. Acclaimed for sensitive and faithful translations of the poems of Chretien, Burton Raffel completes the Arthurian series with this rendition of Perceval. [via]