The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature / Edition 1

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This Companion offers a wide-ranging and stimulating guide to literature composed in medieval French from its beginnings in the ninth century until the Renaissance. The essays are grounded in detailed analysis of canonical texts and authors such as the Chanson de Roland, the Roman de la Rose, Villon's Testament, Chretien de Troyes, Machaut, Christine de Pizan and the Tristan romances. Featuring a chronology and suggestions for further reading, this is the ideal companion for students and scholars in other fields wishing to discover the riches of the French medieval tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Gaunt (French, King's Coll., London) and Kay (French, Princeton Univ.) offer students and scholars a new way of examining medieval French literature. Their book is not chronologically organized and not a literary history but rather an agenda for research students and teachers of medieval French. The editors ask four questions, under which they group included essays: What is a medieval text? What is a medieval French author? What is the value of genre for medieval French literature? How can we read medieval French literature historically? Adrian Armstrong (early French culture, Univ. of Manchester) contributes a piece on the Testament of François Villon demonstrating his unstable persona and his use of elements of other poets. Under the section dealing with the importance of genre in a medieval text, Jane H.M. Taylor (French, Durham Univ.) discusses medieval lyrical poetry. Simon P. Simpson (French, Univ. of Glasgow) demonstrates how medieval French literature can be read in the context of historical events. This book offers a new approach for students and scholars studying French literature. Highly recommended for academic libraries.
—Bob T. Ivey

From the Publisher
"This volume is an excellent reference, a helpful tool for students preparing exams and anyone embarking on research. The concise guide to reference works is a particularly useful feature of the appendices. One of the innovative features of the collection is the analysis of manuscripts and their illuminations which many of the authors include, offering a more holistic approach to the texts in terms of their presentation, reception, and consumption by contemporaries and late readers in the larger context of medieval society."
Arthuriana, Sarah-Grace Heller, The Ohio State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521679756
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/21/2008
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Literature Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Gaunt is Professor of French at King's College London.

Sarah Kay is Professor of French at Princeton University.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations     vii
Notes on contributors     ix
Chronology     xii
Introduction   Simon Gaunt   Sarah Kay     1
What is a Medieval French Text?     19
The Chanson de Roland   Jane Gilbert     21
The Old French Vulgate cycle   Peggy McCracken     35
Le Roman de la rose   Noah D. Guynn     48
The Testament of Francois Villon   Adrian Armstrong     63
What is a Medieval French Author?     77
Chretien de Troyes   Matilda Tomaryn Bruckner     79
The Chatelain de Couci   Simon Gaunt     95
Guillaume de Machaut   Deborah McGrady     109
Christine de Pizan   Marilynn Desmond     123
What is the Value of Genre for Medieval French Literature?     137
Narrative genres   Keith Busby     139
Lyric poetry of the later Middle Ages   Jane H. M. Taylor     153
Genre, parody, and spectacle   Sarah Kay     167
Theatre and theatricality   Helen Solterer     181
How Can We Read Medieval French Literature Historically?     195
Feudalism andkingship   James R. Simpson     197
Clerks and laity   Emma Campbell     210
The marital and the sexual   William Burgwinkle     225
Others and alterity   Sylvia Huot     238
Reference works for Old and Middle French     251
Bibliography of medieval French texts     255
Suggested further reading     260
Index     269
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