Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Des Fabliaux et Des Hommes: Narration Brève et Matérialisme Au Moyen ÂGe

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Des Fabliaux et Des Hommes: Narration Brève et Matérialisme Au Moyen ÂGe

Article excerpt

Alain Corbellari, Des fabliaux et des hommes: Narration breve et materialisme au Moyen Âge, Publications romanes et françaises 264 (Geneva: Droz, 2015). 204 pp. ISBN 978-2-600-01884-5. €42.09.

Alain Corbellari's book comprises ten chapters (plus an introduction and a conclusion), nine of which were previously published in some form as separate articles (the exception being chapter 4, 'Transmissions'). Corbellari focuses mainly on fabliaux but he also reflects on the diffusion and evolution of short narratives from the Middle Ages to today and, as such, includes other texts too (e.g. lais, exempla), some of which are not medieval (e.g. in chapter 2, the avatars of the 'eaten heart' motive in the writings of Barbey d'Aurevilly and Léon Bloy). In order to understand the essence of what fabliaux are, Corbellari discusses a variety of issues such as the question of narrative archetypes and their links to exemplarity or humour, the fabliaux's use (or non-use) of merveilleux, dream, wordplay (calembour), and monologues, as well as their deep relationship with feigned naivety and fraud. At the core of Corbellari's view of fabliaux are two strong ideas. First, Corbellari ingenuously anchors the fabliaux in the traditions of urban legends and the retelling of anecdotes, be they jokes or faits divers. …

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