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.
In this study of vernacular French narrative from the twelfth century through the later Middle Ages, Maddox considers the construction of identity in a 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.
An examination of how the dead were memorialised in late medieval French literature.
The Roman de Perceforestexplores issues of ethnic and cultural conflict and fusion, identity and hybridity in an imaginary pre-Arthurian Britain, ruled by a dynasty established by Alexander the Great.
A study of the immensely popular "lives" of Christ and the Virgin in medieval France.
Writerly Identities in Beur Fiction and Beyond explores the Beur/banlieue literary and cultural field from its beginnings in the 1980s to the present. It examines the struggles of author-characters to attain self-identity and a place in the world through writing and authorship and engages this literary theme with a range of socio-cultural challenges facing contemporary France.
Explores the significance of Alexander the Great in French medieval literature and culture.
Madness is a frequent theme in medieval French literature. It afflicts the two greatest heroes of the Arthurian world, Lancelot and Tristan, as well as numerous other knights and unlucky lovers in courtly tradition. It also appears in devotional literature, whether in the form of the 'holyfool' who impersonates madness as a kind of penance or in the motif of lunatics cured through the miraculous intervention of a saint. These texts manifest a wide range of attitudes towards madness, which may be associated with nobility and refinement of character, with chivalric or spiritualtranscendence, with tragic illness and impairment, with comic ineptitude, or with sin and degradation. Tracing these various depictions allows for a study of how and why madness is used in different texts and different genres. This new book, from one of the leading critics in medieval studies, ties in with contemporary interest in the politics of identity, and literary constructions of identity. There are many studies of gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, and class in medieval literature and society, but far fewer ofmadness. Yet madness is the ultimate 'queerness' or 'otherness', the limit of the human condition. Madness has been identified as an important topic in feminist criticism, but has been explored largely with regard to nineteenth- and twentieth-century studies. The cultural significance of madness inthe Middle Ages is often misrepresented in contemporary discussions. Sylvia Huot redresses that imbalance.
A collection of original essays exploring the intersections between medieval and postcolonial studies.