Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gautier d'Arras: Eracle

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gautier d'Arras: Eracle

Article excerpt

Gautier d'Arras: Eracle, ed. and trans. Karen Prati, King's College Medieval Studies 21 (London: King's College London Centre for Late Antique & Medieval Studies, 2007). Ixviii + 206 pp. ISBN 978-0-9539838-3-4. £8.00. The aim of this new edition and translation of Erade is as modest as its price: placing it alongside Penny Eley's edition of lile et Galeron, published in the same series in 1996, Karen Pratt aims to make available for study both of Gautier's works, so that undergraduates may discover a twelfth-century author much appreciated by medieval readers but still in quest of full recognition by a modern public more inclined to be dazzled by his contemporary and poetic rival Chrétien de Troyes. In fact, Pratt has certainly surpassed her goal in producing two highly readable texts, in Old French and English, buttressed by a rich scholarly apparatus, including rejected readings and textual variants in footnotes and appendix, explanatory notes usefully deployed, and a masterful introduction that will serve not only students but medievalists in general and even specialists, who can appreciate this up-to-date overview and intelligent extension of the critical tradition on Gautier's work. Pratt fully validates her claim that 'Gautier's witty realism, humour, psychological insights and innovative approach to gender' make Erade particularly appealing for a twenty-first-century public, while its generically Protean mix of hagiographie tale and didactic moralizing, romance, love, and adventure intersected with fabliau overtones and crusading epic, combined within a historico-biographic structure, 'makes it an ideal introduction to the study of early Old French narrative' (p. …

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