“Intelligent, insightful, and superbly researched. Jones has succeeded especially well in presenting so many texts and recounting their stories with clarity, brevity, and a light hand.”—William Calin, author of The French Tradition and Literature of Medieval England
“An essential introduction to the Old French chanson de geste tradition, from basic texts to critical considerations of the genre including later versions in Europe and some lesser-known texts. Provides background for aspiring medievalists in many fields and engages readers with its lively presentations of critical discussions.”—Leslie Zarker Morgan, coeditor of Approaches to Teaching the “Song of Roland”
“An indispensable research tool for students and scholars of Old French literature. Its nuanced readings, informed by Jones’s admirable command of both previous and current scholarship, not only set the major French epics in a rich literary, social, and historical context but also reveal the continuing relevance of the ethical issues raised by these medieval poems. This book will make the teaching of La Chanson de Roland (and other French epic texts) a less daunting task for those of us who are not specialists. A welcome addition to my library!”—Elizabeth W. Poe, author of Compilatio
Loosely based on French history but often embellished in fantastical ways and written to be performed by minstrels and jongleurs, chansons de geste are one of the most important traditions of the French Middle Ages.
With an overview of the principal epic cycles, their literary and historical analogues, close readings, contemporary versions and allusions, notes on dates and versification, and a glossary of key terms, Catherine Jones makes these poems accessible to students and any reader interested in learning more about this lively genre. She presents an essential survey of traditional scholarship, such as debates about sources and elements of style, and raises intriguing contemporary questions related to alterity, gender, and genre. With its many critical layers, this book is ideal for undergraduates and teachers alike.
|Publisher:||University Press of Florida|
|Series:||New Perspectives on Medieval Literature: Authors and Traditions|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Catherine M. Jones is Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of French and Provençal at the University of Georgia. She is the author of Philippe de Vigneulles and the Art of Prose Translation.
Table of Contents
1 The Historical and Poetic Context 1
2 The Texts-An Overview 26
3 Selected Works 59
La Chanson de Roland 60
Le Charroi de Nimes and La Prise d'Orange 80
Raoul de Cambrai 98
Ami et Amile 112
Huon de Bordeaux 125
Epilogue: The Legacy of the Chansons de Geste 136
Chansons de Geste-Dates and Versification 149
Select Bibliography 187