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Fictions of Identity in Medieval France


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: April 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521026383

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • In this study of vernacular French narrative from the twelfth century through the later Middle Ages, first published in 2000, 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. These always arresting and highly significant moments of 'specular' encounter are examined in numerous Old and Middle French romances, hagiographic texts, epics and brief narratives. Maddox discloses the key role of identity in an original reading of the Lais of Marie de France as a unified collection, as well as in Arthurian literature, fictions of the courtly tryst, genealogies and medieval family romance. 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.

    • This book deals with the construction of identity in fiction
    • The book covers a broad range of French narratives from the twelfth century through the later Middle Ages
    • Well-established author
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a solid contribution to an important facet of medieval poetics.' Notes & Queries

    '… an important book that sheds new light on a significant recurring feature in some much-discussed texts as well as in some that have received less critical attention … well worth careful examination.' Medium Aevum

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521026383
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.489kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Donald Maddox, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    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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