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The Chansons de Geste in the Age of Romance – Political Fictions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Chansons de Geste in the Age of Romance: Political Fictions

Sarah Kay


This is a major reassessment of the relation between the medieval French chansons de geste and the romance genre. Critics have traditionally seen romance as a superior development of the chanson de geste. The chansons de geste are seen as ‘formulaic’, composed from a public fund of pre-existant and primarily oral narratives and motifs; romance on the other hand, is seen as a more sophisticated product of a newly ‘literary’ story-telling, in line with the more complex social and political conditions of the time. The author rejects this ‘developmental’ model of literary history and, through deta ... More

Keywords: chansons de geste, romance, Renaut de Montauban, Raoul de Cambrai, Orson de Beauvais, political unconscious, sexism, patriarchy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1995 Print ISBN-13: 9780198151920
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198151920.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Sarah Kay, author
Girton College, Cambridge