Telling Tales: Medieval Narratives and the Folk Tradition

Overview

Telling Tales explores the interlocking relationships among written medieval texts, the oral tradition, and the influence of folklore, and examines folklore and culture within literary and historical contexts. The diverse essays in this collection highlight the mutual shadowing of literature and oral narrative and how they relate to other areas of cultural production and performance, including systems of learning, political ideologies, gender formation and conflicts, folk religion, ethnic tensions, and legal ...
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Overview

Telling Tales explores the interlocking relationships among written medieval texts, the oral tradition, and the influence of folklore, and examines folklore and culture within literary and historical contexts. The diverse essays in this collection highlight the mutual shadowing of literature and oral narrative and how they relate to other areas of cultural production and performance, including systems of learning, political ideologies, gender formation and conflicts, folk religion, ethnic tensions, and legal practices. Folklore from a variety of literary and folk traditions including Arabic, Celtic, French, Jewish, Christian, Spanish, and Scandinavian are analyzed using multiple theoretical approaches such as psychoanalysis, feminist theory, new historicism, and semiotics. The relationship, and often the interchangeability, of high culture (such as canonical writings) and popular/folk culture (such as amulets or storytelling) is also explored. A more contemporary essay on the impact of the printing press on folkloric traditions concludes this collection that crosses disciplines, genres, and nationalities, penned by prominent European and American folklore scholars. The result is a work that is at once diversified, contrasted, and provocative. Telling Tales is an exemplary addition to the world of medieval studies and literature.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the interlocking relationships among written medieval texts, the oral tradition, and the influence of folklore, highlighting how literature and oral narrative influence areas of cultural production and performance such as systems of learning, political ideologies, gender formation and conflicts, folk religion, ethnic tensions, and legal practices. The 15 essays look at Arabic, Celtic, French, Jewish, Christian, Spanish, Scandinavian, and other traditions. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312211318
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/15/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Francesca Canadé Sautman teaches French literature and cultural studies at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate School. She is the co-editor of the journal Medieval Folklore Studies.

Diana Conchado teaches Spanish literature at Hunter College and works on the Golden Age mock epic.

Giuseppe Carlo Di Scipio is Chair of the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College and is a noted Dante scholar.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Texts and Shadows: Traces, Narratives, and Folklore 1
2 Problems in Contextualizing Oral Circulation of Early Medieval Saints' Legends 21
3 The Order of Monsters: Monster Lore and Medieval Narrative Traditions 37
4 Myth and Text in the Middle Ages: Folklore as Literary "Source" 59
5 Ambiguity and Appropriation: The Story of Judith in Medieval Narrative and Iconographic Traditions 79
6 Infernal Visions and Border Conflicts: Two Tales from the Fifteenth-Century Recull de eximplis e miracles 101
7 Ambiguity in the Battle of Porr and Hrungnir 121
8 Sanguine Inscriptions: Mythic and Literary Aspects of a Motif in Chretien de Troyes's Conte du Graal 137
9 Framed (for) Murder: The Corpse Killed Five Times in the Thousand Nights and a Night 155
10 Saints, Legends, and Charms 173
11 Saint Paul and Popular Traditions 189
12 The Middle-Aged Life of Adamnan 209
13 A Troubled History: Folklore and Competing Texts in Baudouin de Sebourc, a Fourteenth-Century Chanson de Geste 231
14 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Myth in Its Time 249
15 From "Little Red Riding Hood" to the "Beast of Gevaudan": The Tale in the Long Term Continuum 269
Select Bibliography 297
Contributors 309
Index 313
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