Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The 'Continuations' of Chretien's 'Perceval': Content and Construction, Extension and Ending

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

The 'Continuations' of Chretien's 'Perceval': Content and Construction, Extension and Ending

Article excerpt

Leah Tether, The 'Continuations' of Chretien's 'Perceval': Content and Construction, Extension and Ending (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2012). ix + 241 pp. ISBN 978-1-84384-316-0. £55.00.

By offering a taxonomy of types (anticipated by the 'extension' and 'ending' of her subtide), Leah Tether seeks to demonstrate in the five chapters of this study how Continuation operates as a medieval literary genre, understood as 'intrinsically fluid' (p. 3) yet suggestive of the kind of 'generic similarity' (p. 4) that invites recognition and expectation from its audience. Through her analysis of key characteristics identified in the four Continuations that follow Chrétien de Troyes's Conte du Graal, Tether establishes a general model of Continuation as genre; by including comparisons with the Roman de la Rose's two parts and Godefroi de Leigni's continuation of Chrétien's Chevalier de la Charrette, she also makes a claim for her model's usefulness and applicability to other works (her conclusion points to Partonopeus de Blois, the Vaux du Paon cycle, and Huon de Bordeaux as possible examples). Tether's study aims then to bring the Perceval Continuations from the margins of medieval studies to a more central position as a lens for understanding an important feature common to medieval narrative. And in this respect, she situates her book in the context of a number of recent studies that give witness to the growing attention the Continuations are beginning (belatedly but deservedly) to receive, including my book on the dialogue between the Conte and its Continuations (Chrétien Continued) and Thomas Hinton's analysis of how the continuations function as a cycle both centripetally and centrifugally (The 'Conte du Graal' Cycle, Chrétien de Troyes's 'Perceval', the Continuations, and French Arthurian Romance). Tether argues for a distinction between cyclification and Continuation (although she sees links between the two); she strives for a '"mechanical" approach ... strategically designed to effect a wider impact on the analysis of Continuation across the medieval corpus' (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.