Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gautier d'Arras: L'autre Chretien

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Gautier d'Arras: L'autre Chretien

Article excerpt

Corinne Pierreville, Gautier d'Arras: l'autre Chretien (Paris: Honore Champion, 2001). 380 pp. ISBN 2-745 3-0311-2. Eur. 73.20.

This study of the two romances of Gautier d'Arras is based on the author's thesis, as the many footnotes and appendices might suggest. Anyone interested in medieval romance will find it full of interesting details, as Gautier d'Arras is compared with Chretien de Troyes, his contemporary and, according to Pierreville, his rival. She picks up many examples of intertextuality in the work of the two eastern French poets and is able to propose a comparative dating of their romances which is convincing. Her argument is that Gautier has been consistently undervalued because his preference for realism and for supporting the cause of the lower orders would have found little favour with a noble audience which is praised only in his prologues. Chretien with his liking for Celtic otherworldliness and aristocratic conventions was much more to their taste. Her subtext is that Chretien has been consistently overvalued in comparison with Gautier, whose technique and skill as a versifier have been overlooked by previous critics. …

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