Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Arthurian Literature XXII

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Arthurian Literature XXII

Article excerpt

Arthurian Literature XXII, ed. Keith Busby and Roger Dalrymple (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2005). vii + 175 pp. ISBN 1-84384-062-6. £40.00.

It is always a pleasure to welcome another volume of Arthurian Literature. Keith Busby has the art of finding interesting, and genuinely original, contributions. Here, the fare is varied. The volume starts with an interesting essay by a young Cambridge scholar, Ben Ramm, on authority in the Perlesvaus - particularly welcome given the comparative neglect from which this fascinating romance has suffered. Ramm examines the status of narrative authority from verse to prose romance - but what he really emphasizes, energetically and well, is the complexity and ambiguity of the instance narrative, 'the obfuscation of the origin and agency of [the text's] claim to authority" (pp. 18f.). The paper that follows, by the indefatigable Fanni Bogdanow, addresses BnF fr. 112; this was, of course, the subject of Pickford's 1959 study (L'Évolution du roman arthurien en prose ...). Bogdanow (basing herself on her usual meticulous reading of the manuscript) sees its compiler, Micheau Gonnot, as adept and ingenious in producing a unified Arthuriad, not, as Pickford seemed to suggest, a loosely connected collection of Arthurian stories. The third essay, by Annette Volfing, deals with Albrecht's Jügerer Titurel: Volfing depicts Albrecht as a conscientious, intelligent adaptor eager to ensure that the inadequate information on the Grail he accuses Wolfram of propagating is supplemented, so that the Grail story will be fully comprehensive in German. …

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