Abelard's Love

9780803289680: Paperback
Release Date: 1st February 1998

Number of Pages: 154

Series European Women Writers

UNP - Nebraska

Abelard's Love

Written by
Luise Rinser
,
Translated by
Jean M. Snook
Paperback / £11.99

Abelard’s Love is an inspired retelling of the story of Abelard and Heloise—the French medieval theologian and his brilliant student—whose love affair led to a scandal that has echoed through the centuries. In the affair’s aftermath, Abelard became a monk and Heloise a nun. Forgotten to history was their unwanted son.

Luise Rinser sets at center stage that son and his unique perspective on his legendary parents. The novel is cast in the form of a long letter written by the son, Astrolabe. Addressed to Heloise in the weeks after Abelard’s death, the letter brings the story of this tragic family vividly to life. Rinser offers insights into each of the three participants in this family drama, yet it is the perspective of the aggrieved son that lies at the book’s core. As the distinguished critic and translator Harry Zohn has remarked, “the young man’s melancholy musings . . . add up to an anguished ‘J’accuse’ of epic dimensions.”

Luise Rinser is the best-selling author of dozens of novels and autobiographical works that have been translated into more than twenty languages. A prominent figure in German intellectual and political life, she was the German Green Party’s presidential candidate in 1984. Jean M. Snook is an associate professor of German at Memorial University of Newfoundland and translator of Else Lasker-Schüler’s Concert (Nebraska 1994).