Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Sharing Story: Medieval Norse-English Literary Relationships

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Sharing Story: Medieval Norse-English Literary Relationships

Article excerpt

Paul Beekman Taylor, Sharing Story: Medieval Norse-English Literary Relationships, AMS

Studies in the Middle Ages ?j (New York: AMS Press, 1998). 281 pp. ISBN o404-64i65-z. $67-50. Sharing Story is a collection of Paul Taylor's articles in the field of Norse and medieval English language and literature, updated where necessary, and given overall shape by an introductory chapter. Taylor's intention is to rehabilitate the comparative method in order to illuminate anew themes, plots, and characters in (mostly) Old and Middle English. Unfortunately in so doing he falls into many of the errors which have caused the comparative method to languish over the last few decades: adducing parallels (such as for Jankyn's legs in Chaucer) which appear very slight or which do not stand up to close scrutiny, and summarizing Norse mythological and heroic material so inaccurately that his conclusions appear to the expert reader as unreliable. …

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