Arthurian Literature XXXI

Arthurian Literature XXXI

ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD
DAVID F. JOHNSON
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 192
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt6wp93m
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  • Book Info
    Arthurian Literature XXXI
    Book Description:

    There is a strong focus on Malory in this collection, with essays on wounds and transgression, affect, ethics and unconsciousness, and weeping and worship in the Morte Darthur. There are also pieces on the French Arthurian tradition, and on the Trevelyans and the Arthurian legends. Elizabeth Archibald is Professor of English Studies at Durham University, and Principal of St Cuthbert's Society; David F. Johnson is Professor of English at Florida State University, Tallahassee. Contributors include: Karen Cherewatuk, Tara Foster, Megan Leitch, Roger Simpson, Kevin Whetter.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-388-1
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. GENERAL EDITORS’ FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-x)
    Elizabeth Archibald and David F. Johnson

    This volume ofArthurian Literatureranges from Chrétien’s Camelot to the French televison seriesKaamelott. Irit Kleiman describes Chrétien’sConte du Graalas ‘an elaborate architecture of imperfect doublings’. Using both psychological and mythological approaches, she discusses the impact of Lévi-Strauss’s description of Perceval as an ‘inverted Oedipus’, and the links between Chrétien’s poem and its Anglo-Norman context (especially the legal context). A key term for her arguments ismahaign, a wound or mutilation. Wounds are central to two essays on Malory which originated as papers for a session at Kalamazoo in 2013 sponsored byArthurian Literature, ‘Wounds and Emotions...

  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. I CHRÉTIEN’S CONTE DU GRAAL BETWEEN MYTH AND HISTORY
    (pp. 1-34)
    Irit Ruth Kleiman

    This essay examines theConte du Graal, Chrétien de Troyes’s final, incomplete romance and the earliest known text in the Grail tradition. Chrétien’s narrative takes its structure from an elaborate architecture of imperfect doublings. Like Chrétien’s bifurcated romance, my argument on these pages also has two strands. The first considers the legacy of Claude Lévi-Strauss’s description of Perceval as an ‘inverted Oedipus’ in relation to the intellectual history of the twentieth century.² The second examines the imprint of Anglo-Norman legal history and the intertextual allusions that tie Chrétien’s historical romance to Wace’sBrutas romanced history. The necessity of the...

  7. II MALORY’S THIGHS AND LAUNCELOT’S BUTTOCK: IGNOBLE WOUNDS AND MORAL TRANSGRESSION IN THE MORTE DARTHUR
    (pp. 35-60)
    Karen Cherewatuk

    The most familiar wound in medieval romance is not literal but metaphorical: the wound of love. The conceit imagines the heroine (consciously or not) penetrating the knight’s heart – either through her image or gaze – and inflicting a wound that only she can heal. Romance writers such as Chrétien and Guillaume de Lorris adopted the metaphor from the troubadours.¹ By the time Chaucer’s Troilus passes Criseyde in the temple and is ‘Right with hire loke thorough-shoten’,² the entire audience would be familiar enough with the motif to wonder whether the lady would serve as the knight’s physician or agent...

  8. III WEEPING, WOUNDS AND WORSHYP IN MALORY’S MORTE DARTHUR
    (pp. 61-82)
    K. S. Whetter

    There are a lot of wounds and a lot of weeping in Sir Thomas Malory’sLe Morte Darthur. This is hardly surprising given that armed combat ‘is Malory’s favourite topic’.¹ Yet despite the popularity and longevity of theMorte, combat has not always proven to be equally beloved by Malory’s critics. Roger Ascham famously condemned theMorte’s excessive reliance on ‘open mans slaughter, and bold bawdrye’, and in doing so he initiated what would become a long-standing critical refrain.² Recent scholarship on Malory’sMorte Darthuremphasizes the supposed somatic anxieties of Malory’s text, the ways in which various characters feel...

  9. IV SLEEPING KNIGHTS AND ‘SUCH MANER OF SOROW-MAKYNGE’: AFFECT, ETHICS AND UNCONSCIOUSNESS IN MALORY’S MORTE DARTHUR
    (pp. 83-100)
    Megan Leitch

    In Malory’sMorte Darthur, both sleep and swooning sometimes mark uncomfortable emotional states. For instance, when Guenevere reproaches Launcelot for sleeping with Elaine (a second time), the narrator reports that Launcelot:

    toke suche an hartely sorow at her wordys that he felle downe to the floure in a sowne. … And whan sir Launcelot awooke oute of hys swoghe, he lepte oute at a bay-wyndow into a gardyne, … and so he ranne furth he knew nat whothir, and was as wylde woode as ever was man.¹

    Here, although conscious (if crazed) perambulation is the more prolonged outcome, Launcelot’s overwhelming...

  10. V MIRRORING MASCULINITIES: TRANSFORMATIVE FEMALE CORPSES IN MALORY’S MORTE DARTHUR
    (pp. 101-130)
    Erin Kissick

    ‘Sertes, had nat this jantillwoman bene, I had nat come hyder at thys time.’ So says Sir Galahad, when Percival’s Sister leads him to the ship that announces itself as Faythe, joining him with the two friends who will accompany him for the journey out of the familiar world of chivalry and the community of the Round Table into the spiritual realm.

    Sir Thomas Malory’sMorte Darthurexplores the nature of knighthood, creating a chivalric community in which the ideals of chivalry can be tested to their fullest extent.¹ Yet this chivalric community and its members are shown by the...

  11. VI TRISTAN AND ISEULT AT THE CATHEDRAL OF SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
    (pp. 131-164)
    Joan Tasker Grimbert

    Santiago de Compostela in north-western Spain is not a locale that we normally associate with the Tristan legend, and yet Tristan and Iseult make their appearance in the cathedral there twice during the Middle Ages, at two different times and in two different media. In the cathedral museum can be found a marble column – one of three salvaged from the original Romanesque façade – containing sculpted images that one prominent art historian, Serafín Moralejo, has identified as Tristan (and possibly Iseult). These images predate the earliest extant Old French poems and testify to a very early penetration of the...

  12. VII TREVELYAN TRIPTYCH: A FAMILY AND THE ARTHURIAN LEGEND
    (pp. 165-184)
    Roger Simpson

    Direct lineal descent from King Arthur has been claimed by and for sundry English monarchs, Henry VII, Elizabeth I and Charles I among them. More recently the egregious Arthur Pendragon has declared himself a re-embodiment of that king, while Laurel Phelan, a Canadian, reportedly learns through regressive therapy that she is a reincarnation of Queen Guinevere.¹ Less aspirational perhaps than all of these, but still exceptional, is the Trevelyan family’s claim of descent from a knight of Arthur’s Round Table.

    From comparatively modest beginnings in Cornwall, the Trevelyans rose to prominence through a series of advantageous marriages which gave them...

  13. VIII KAAMELOTT: A NEW FRENCH ARTHURIAN TRADITION
    (pp. 185-202)
    Tara Foster

    First broadcast in 2005, the extremely popular French television seriesKaamelotttakes on the Arthur of the medieval French tradition and casts a humorous new light on the monarch and his court. The series ran for six seasons on France’s television channel M6, ending on a cliffhanger in October 2009. The spelling ‘Kaamelott’ takes its inspiration from the spelling ‘Kamaalot’ found in some manuscripts of the thirteenth-century French ProseLancelot–Grailcycle, and whether by accident or design, the back-to-back ‘A’s in the title prominently feature the initials of Alexandre Astier,Kaamelott’s creator, writer, director, editor, composer and principal actor....

  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 203-209)