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Burton Raffel

Burton Raffel

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Burton Raffel (born 1928) is a translator, a poet and a teacher. He has translated many poems, including the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, poems by Horace, and Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais. In 1996, he published his translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, which has been acclaimed for making Cervantes more accessible to the modern generation. In 2006, Yale University Press published his new translation of the Nibelungenlied.

Among his many edited and translated publications are Poems and Prose from the Old English, and Chrétien de Troyes' Cligès, Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart, Perceval, the Story of the Grail, Erec and Enide, and Yvain, the Knight of the Lion. Raffel is also a poet in his own right; over the years he has published numerous volumes of it; however, only one remains in print: Beethoven in Denver. Beethoven describes what happens when the dead composer visits Denver, Colorado in the late 1970s. Also set in Colorado was the Raffel-scripted film, The Legend of Alfred Packer, the first film version of the story of Alferd Packer. Burton Raffel was the Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities and emeritus professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette until 2003. Raffel is currently working with Yale Press on a series of 14 annotated Shakespeare plays. In 2008 the Modern Library will publish his new translation of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.


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