Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Arthurian Literature

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Arthurian Literature

Article excerpt

Arthurian Literature, XVIII, ed. Keith Busby (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 2001). viii + 255 pp. ISBN 0-85991-617-0. L45.00.

Keith Busby notes in his foreword that this volume is the first in the series in which miscellanies will alternate with theme issues. If the other miscellany volumes offer anything like the same quality as this one, the policy will have been well justified. The first and longest contribution is by the late Richard Illingworth on the composition of Beroul's Tristan and represents a synthesis and a culmination of his earlier writings on the romance. Illingworth argues that the extant fragment is essentially the work of a reviser, who moves away from his source material roughly halfway through the text, after the potion loses its power and as the restoration of Iseut to Mark is planned. Here, the reviser introduces themes which he then develops as he writes the following episodes, those concerned with Iseut's swearing of the ambiguous oath and the killing of the wicked barons by Tristan. The reviser then retraces his steps and adds to the early sections material reflecting the themes of the later episodes. I have obviously done violence here to the subtlety of Illingworth's case. Suffice it to say that the process of composition he proposes carries much greater plausibility than others that have been suggested and that the article merits careful appraisal as a substantial contribution to the corpus of Beroul criticism. Jane H. M. Taylor then offers a characteristically lively and entertaining examination of Tristan de Nanteuil. For Taylor, the interest of the text lies in its enthusiastic welcoming of diversity, in the way in which romance motifs are imposed upon epic structures. …

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.