Fictions of Identity in Medieval France

Overview

In this study of vernacular French narrative from the twelfth century through the later Middle Ages, Donald Maddox considers the construction of identity in a wide range of fictions. He focuses on crucial encounters, widespread in medieval literature, in which characters are informed about fundamental aspects of their own circumstances and selfhood. The study offers many new perspectives on the poetic and cultural implications of identity as an imaginary construct during the long formative period of French ...

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Overview

In this study of vernacular French narrative from the twelfth century through the later Middle Ages, Donald Maddox considers the construction of identity in a wide range of fictions. He focuses on crucial encounters, widespread in medieval literature, in which characters are informed about fundamental aspects of their own circumstances and selfhood. The study offers many new perspectives on the poetic and cultural implications of identity as an imaginary construct during the long formative period of French literature.

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Editorial Reviews

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"Vigorous, provocative, and thoughtful..." Speculum

"Brilliant analyses." Choice

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Donald Maddox, Professor of French and Italian Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the author of The Arthurian Romances of Chretien de Troyes (1991).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction: identity and encounter in medieval literature; 1. The specular encounter in fictions of reciprocity: the Lais of Marie de France; 2. The specular encounter in Arthurian Romance; 3. From encounter to specular encounter in fictions of the courtly tryst; 4. The specular encounter in fictions of lineage; 5. Afterword: the specular encounter in perspective; Appendix; Notes; Select bibliography; Index.

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