Literary Hybrids: Indeterminacy in Medieval & Modern French by Hess

By Hess

This quantity is an in depth examining of the feminine cross-dresser in thirteenth century French romance, analyzing the interaction among actual and narrative ambiguity.

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Extra info for Literary Hybrids: Indeterminacy in Medieval & Modern French Narrative (Studies in Medieval History and Culture, 21)

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In the end, the wicked Queen Brande disenchants Alphons, who marries Florence and becomes the new king of Spain, while Guillaume marries Melior and not long afterwards ascends to the throne as the new Emperor of Rome. We thus see time and again an interplay of the thematics of confused or mistaken identity and the insufficiency of logical thinking, as these characters repeatedly conceal their identity through disguises that underscore the lack of correspondence between the appearance and the hidden content, the sign and the signified.

Maghreb littératures 386) But while Dib explicitly problematizes personal identity and narrative/ linguistic sufficiency, I suggest that very similar issues are at play in Guil laume de Palerne and that the werewolf topos informs both works in a significant manner, setting the stage for the shifting of identity as for the shifting of shape. Whereas the modern novel, Le Sommeil d’Eve, closes in typical modern fashion without resolution of Faïna’s hybridism, the medieval romance, Guillaume de Palerne sees Alphons’s return to his human form.

Yvain 288–293; 327–334) This dialogue is revealing of the beastherd, Roger Bartra notes in Wild Men in the Looking Glass: The Mythic Origins of European Otherness, “for underneath his grotesque ugliness and his complex exoticism lies a human being” (90). Without prodding from Calogrenant, the beastherd also volunteers the location of a nearby magical spring, beside which hangs a gong that when sounded releases a horrific thunderstorm—a worthy site of adventure for a knight errant such as Calogrenant.

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