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French Arthurian Literature IV: Eleven Old French Narrative Lays

French Arthurian Literature IV: Eleven Old French Narrative Lays

Glyn S. Burgess
Leslie C. Brook
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 536
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt14brskp
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    French Arthurian Literature IV: Eleven Old French Narrative Lays
    Book Description:

    The lay was a flourishing genre in the French courts of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, related to romance rather as the modern short story is to the novel. Its most famous exponent is arguably Marie de France, but in addition to her twelve lays, a number of others, mainly anonymous, have also come down to us, usually referred to as Breton lays or simply as narrative lays. The eleven anonymous lays presented in this volume show the varied nature of the genre. First brought together as a collection by Prudence Tobin in 1976, they have been freshly edited from the manuscript sources. They are presented here with facing English translation, together with substantial introductions for each lay, which deal principally with thematic issues and questions of general literary interest.BR> GLYN S. BURGESS is Emeritus Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. LESLIE C. BROOK is Honorary Senior Research Fellow in French at the University of Birmingham.

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-543-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents (pp. [v]-[vi])
  3. GENERAL INTRODUCTION (pp. 1-6)

    Broadly speaking, the Old French narrative lay is related to romance rather as the modern short story is to the novel. It flourished alongside romance in the latter half of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The genre is often referred to as the ‘Breton lay’, the designation Breton being based on the perception that the lay originated in Brittany. In addition, the setting of the poem is often located in that region and some of the characters have names of Breton origin. However, we prefer the expression ‘narrative lay’, as it distinguishes the extant poems from any musical or...

  4. MANUSCRIPTS (pp. 7-8)
  5. 1. DESIRÉ (pp. 9-82)

    The lay ofDesiréis preserved in two manuscripts: (i) MS S, f. 10v, col. 1–15v, col. 1, (ii) MS P, f. 7v, col. 2–12v, col. 1. A translation of the lay into Norse is included in the thirteenth-centuryStrengleikarcollection (MS N, pp. 37–48).Desiréwas first published in 1836 by Francisque Michel inLais inédits des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(pp. 3–37). In 1928 it was edited along withGraelentandMelionby E. Margaret Grimes (pp. 48–75) and again in 1976 by Prudence M. O’H. Tobin inLes Lais anonymes des XIIe...

  6. 2. TYOLET (pp. 83-140)

    The lay ofTyoletis preserved only in MS S, f. 15v, col. 1–20r, col. 1. It is not found in the NorseStrengleikarcollection. First edited by Gaston Paris in 1879 (pp. 40–50),Tyolethad to wait for a new edition until 1976, when it appeared in Prudence M. O’H. Tobin’sLes Lais anonymes des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(pp. 227–53). Tobin’s text was reprinted in 1984 by Walter Pagani with a facing Italian translation (pp. 156–95) and again in 1992 by Alexandre Micha with a facing Modern French translation (pp. 182–223). The lay...

  7. 3. GUINGAMOR (pp. 141-196)

    The lay ofGuingamoris preserved only in MS S, f. 23r, col. 2–27v, col. 1; it is not found in theStrengleikarcollection. It was first published by Gaston Paris inRomania(1879, pp. 51–59). The 1920s saw the appearance of editions by Peter Kusel (Guingamor: Ein Lai der Marie de France, 1922, reprinted three years later by Karl Warnke in an Appendix to his edition of theLaisof Marie de France) and by Erhard Lommatzsch (Le Lai de Guingamor; Le Lai de Tydorel(12. Jahrhundert) , 1922, pp. 1–20). The latter half of the...

  8. 4. ESPINE (pp. 197-242)

    The lay ofEspineis preserved in two manuscripts: (i) MS B, f. 481v, col. 1–484r, col. 1, (ii) MS S, f. 27v, col. 1–30v, col. 2. It is not found in the NorseStrengleikarcollection. An edition based on MS B was published in 1819 by B. de Roquefort with a facing prose translation in French (Poésies de Marie de France, I, pp. 542–81). Two further editions were published in the nineteenth century, by Gotthard Gullberg inDeux lais du XIIIesiècle(1876) and Rudolf Zenker in theZeitschrift für romanische Philologie(1893). Gullberg provides a...

  9. 5. DOON (pp. 243-276)

    The lay ofDoonis preserved only in MS S, f. 33r, col. 1–34v, col. 2. A Norse translation of the lay is found in the thirteenth-centuryStrengleikarcollection (MS N, pp. 51–54). The lay was first edited by Gaston Paris in 1879 (pp. 61–64). Although included in Peter Holmes’s 1952 University of Strasbourg thesis,¹ it was not published again until 1976 when it was edited by Prudence M. O’H. Tobin inLes Lais anonymes des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(pp. 324–31). Tobin’s text was reprinted in 1984 by Walter Pagani with a facing Italian translation...

  10. 6. LECHEOR (pp. 277-298)

    The lay ofLecheoris preserved only in MS S, f. 43r, col. 1–43v, col. 1. A fragment of the poem (the first fourteen lines only) is found in the thirteenth-centuryStrengleikarcollection (MS N). The lay was first edited in 1879 by Gaston Paris, then again in 1969 by Mortimer Donovan inThe Breton Lay(pp. 105–09). Nathaniel E. Dubin included an edition of it, along with four other parodic lays, in his 1974 dissertation. The most recent editions are by Prudence M. O’H. Tobin inLes Lais anonymes des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(1976, pp. 354-57)...

  11. 7. TYDOREL (pp. 299-348)

    The lay ofTydorelis preserved only in MS S, f. 45v, col. 2–48v, col. 2. A translation into Norse of the first fifty-eight lines is found in theStrengleikarcollection (MS N, p. 49; two leaves are then missing from the manuscript). First edited inRomaniaby Gaston Paris in 1879 (pp. 67–72),Tydorelwas published by Erhard Lommatzsch in 1922 (pp. 23–36). No further edition appeared until the publication in 1976 of Prudence M. O’H. Tobin’sLes Lais anonymes des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(pp. 213–24). Tobin’s text was reprinted in 1984 by Walter...

  12. 8. GRAELENT (pp. 349-412)

    The lay ofGraelentis preserved in three manuscripts: (i) MS S, f. 72r, col. 2–77r, col. 1, (ii) MS A, f. 65r, col. 2–70r, col. 2, (iii) MS L, 57r–72r.¹ A partial translation into Norse is found in MS Copenhagen, AM 666b, 4, pp. 89–91 (vv. 1–156 only).² LikeGuingamor, Graelenthas attracted more attention from editors and translators than the other lays in this collection. An edition based on Lacurne de Sainte-Palaye’s copy of MS A was published as early as 1808 in Étienne Barbazan and Dominique Martin Méon’sFabliaux et contes des...

  13. 9. MELION (pp. 413-466)

    The lay ofMelionis preserved only in MS C, f. 343r, col. 1–344r, col. 4. A second manuscript (T), in whichMelionoccupied f. 60r, col. 1–f. 63r, col. 1, was largely destroyed in the Turin fire of 1904. Variants from MS T were recorded in detail by Horak and are reproduced in Grimes.Melionis not found in the NorseStrengleikarcollection.

    Melionwas first edited by L.-J.-N. Monmerqué and Francisque Michel in 1832 (pp. 43–67), then in 1882 by W. Horak, in 1928 by E. Margaret Grimes (pp. 102–33), in 1952 by Peter...

  14. 10. NABARET (pp. 467-480)

    The lay ofNabaretis preserved only in MS P, f. 12v, cols 1–2. A translation of the lay into Norse (MS N) is found in the thirteenth-centuryStrengleikarcollection (pp. 81–82). Only forty-eight lines long,Nabaretis the shortest of the narrative lays. It was first edited in 1836 by Francisque Michel on pp. 90–91 of the ‘glossarial index’ to his edition of a poem he called simplyCharlemagne, but which is now known as thePèlerinage(orVoyage)de Charlemagne. Michel provided an edition ofNabaretin the context of his explanation of the term...

  15. 11. TROT (pp. 481-508)

    The lay ofTrotis preserved only in MS C, f. 344v, col. 1–345v, col. 4. It is not found in the NorseStrengleikarcollection. The lay was edited in 1832 by L.-J.-N. Monmerqué and Francisque Michel, then again in 1935 by E. Margaret Grimes and also in 1976 by Prudence M. O’H. Tobin inLes Lais anonymes des XIIeet XIIIesiècles(pp. 339–46). Tobin’s edition ofTrotwas reprinted in 1984 by Walter Pagani with a facing Italian translation (pp. 276–93) and again in 1992 by Alexandre Micha with a facing Modern French translation (pp....

  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 509-526)
  17. INDEX OF PROPER NAMES (pp. 527-529)
  18. Back Matter (pp. 530-530)