The Chansons de Geste in the Age of Romance

Overview


This is a major reassessment of the relation between the medieval French chansons de geste and the romance genre. Critics have often dismissed the chansons de geste as coming before and being inferior to the new and distinctively literary achievement of romance. Sarah Kay draws on the most up-to-date literary and feminist theory to show that the two genres in fact existed simultaneously, engaged in a productive and revealing dialogue. Each genre, moreover, illuminates the "political unconscious" of the other: ...
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Overview


This is a major reassessment of the relation between the medieval French chansons de geste and the romance genre. Critics have often dismissed the chansons de geste as coming before and being inferior to the new and distinctively literary achievement of romance. Sarah Kay draws on the most up-to-date literary and feminist theory to show that the two genres in fact existed simultaneously, engaged in a productive and revealing dialogue. Each genre, moreover, illuminates the "political unconscious" of the other: those political conflicts and contradictions--particularly issues of gender--that the text attempts to evade and disguise.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Kay presents a vision of politics in the chansons de geste which will have to be taken into consideration in all future epic criticism."--Arthuriana

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198151920
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/25/1996
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.69 (w) x 8.81 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Pt. I Genre and Narrative
1 The Problem of Women: Price or Gift? 25
2 Narratives of Conflict/Conflict of Narratives 49
Pt. II Social Organization and Meaning
3 Patriarchy 79
4 Hierarchy 116
5 Companions and Brothers 145
Pt. III Political Critique
6 Allies and Enemies 175
7 The Poetics of the Gift and the Problems of Men 200
Conclusion 232
Appendix: Outlines of Less Well-Known Chansons de geste Featuring in this Study 241
Bibliography 252
Index 269
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