There’s this line in Chretien’s “The Story of the Grail” that has intrigued me for years. When Perceval comes back after first meeting knights in the forest, the uncouth little Welshmen tells his (appalled) mother about the experience. She says,
Tu as veu, si com je croi,
Les enges don la gent se plaignent,
Qui ocient quan qu’il ataignent.
[Fair son, I commend you to God, for I am most afraid on your account: you have seen, I believe, the angels men complain of, who kill whatever they come upon.] 
Now, I don’t have Old French, and my modern French is seriously rusty, but I am dying to find out what this means and I can’t find a darned thing on it. The only thing I’ve found so far is in a 1994 Gallimard French edition,  in which the “Percevel ou Le Conte du Graal” annotations are done by Daniel Poirion. The note says, “Ce n’est pas une critique social, mais une allusion apocalyptique dont la fugitive image est un dernier recours pour detourner le fils de son destin. Elle implique une terrible conception de la chevalerie: les chevaliers peuvent-ils passer pour des anges d’une mondaine apocalypse?” If I’m not hideously off, this says something like, “This is not a social critique, but an apocalyptic allusion whose fugitive image is a last recourse to divert the son from his destiny. She implies a terrible conception of chivalry: can the knights be regarded as the angels of an earthly apocalypse?”
Last time I read Revelation, I seemed to recall some trumpet-blowing and seal-opening, but not a lot of wholesale slaughter or even agency on the part of the angels. And even if I ignore the apocalypse commentary, this seems like an odd description of even fallen angels (setting aside for the moment the whole issue of how Perceval’s mother has hardly reared him with anything resembling orthodox catechism). Toward what “apocalyptic” matter should I be looking, if I follow Poirion’s trail? And is there some critical edition of Chretien in English that I’m not aware of that I am remiss in not looking at (ie, is there a Klaeber of Chretien?)… Should I be looking at folkloric material, and, if so, where in the world? What are “the angels men complain of,” and how do they get figured as this terrible image of masculinity from which his mother would like to save him? Yeah, so there’s my research question. Gah.
 Trans. William Kibler.
 Chretien de Troyes. Oeuvres Completes. Part of the Litterature francaise du Moyen Age series.
Now, in funnier news, Sir Marrok still leads in search engine terms that bring people to this blog. But this week brings a few others:
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(ETA) Here’s one, up to date, thanks to JJC himself.
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Can’t help you, sorry.
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Play nice, now!
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How you ended up here is beyond me, but I hope you found what you were looking for.
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reaction to second shepherds’ play
Well, if you’re like my Brit Lit students, your reaction was a little “huh” combined with a little “please don’t make me write a paper involving medieval exegesis.” I wish they could have seen the Folger production.
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Wow. I have absolutely no idea.
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If I ever have any more kids, that’s going in the name hat.