Discourses on Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature
This volume attempts to reach beyond the traditional discussion of medieval courtly literature by emphasizing the elements of transgression affecting love, friendship, and marriage. Love has as much to do with power as with death, as much with transgression as with consolidation of society, as much with heterosexuality as with homosexuality, as much with discourse as with the exploration of the fundamental pleasure principle and of the experience of pain. Moreover, love is a medium to experiment with language in its myriad of meanings, functions, and expressions. Medieval society and the individual established identity through courtly love, both confirming and deconstructing traditional norms and ethics. Courtly love involved violence and playfulness; it provided the catalyst to transgress all norms of medieval society and reconstituted this very society as well. The contributors to this volume examine a wide range of literary perspectives toward friendship, marriage, adultery, domestic violence, physical and spiritual suffering, individual happiness, the breaking of promises, vows, and oaths because of and in opposition to love, and the destruction of traditional family relations resulting from the almost uncontrollable force of sexuality. But courtly love also proved to be the foundation upon which courtly society could be established. This foundation was, as we now begin to understand, not an absolute, but instead a linguistic, artistic construct, simply called "courtly love."
"Albrecht Classen's new volume is a valuable addition to any university library. It is, moreover, a vital one for scholars of courtly love, not only for the many perceptive essays that appear in this volume, but even more for the essential summations of issues in the field and the extensive secondary material in the notes. ... More joint ventures in the future by medieval and early modern scholars are to be welcomed."
Table of Contents
Albrecht Classen: Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Medieval and Early Modern Literature: Discourse, Communication, and Social Interaction
Virginie Greene: The Knight, the Woman, and the Historian: Georges Duby and Courtly Love
Michelle Bolduc: Transgressive Troubadours and Lawless Lovers? Matfre Ermengaud's Breviari d'Amor as a Courtly apologia
Lynn Shutters: Christian Love or Pagan Transgression? Marriage and Conversion in Floire et Blancheflor
Karen K. Jambeck: "Femmes et tere": Marie de France and the Discourses of "Lanval"
Sharon Kinoshita: Colonial Possessions: Wales and the Anglo-Norman Imaginary in the Lais of Marie de France
James A. Rushing: Erec's Uxoriousness
Ulrich M¸ller: "L'Auteur est mort, vive l'auteur": Love in Poetry and Fiction
Suzanne Kocher: Accusations of Gay and Straight Sexual Transgression in the Roman de la Violette
Anna Kukulka-Wojtasik: Littèrature courtoise ou le libertinage avant la lettre. D'aprés les Chansons de Guillaume de Poitiers et Joufroi, roman du XIIIe siècle
Penny Simons: Love, Marriage, and Transgression in Joufroi de Poitiers: A Case of Literary Anarchism?
Joanne Charbonneau: Transgressive Fathers in Sir Eglamour of Artois and Torrent of Portyngale
Jean E. Jost: Chaucer's Vows and How They Break: Transgression in The Manciple's Tale
Albrecht Classen: Love, Marriage, and Sexual Transgressions in Heinrich Kaufringer's Verse Narratives (ca. 1400)
Louise O. Vasvári: "Buon cavallo e mal cavallo vuole sprone, e buona femina e mala femina vuol bastone": Medieval Cultural Fictions of Wife-Battering
Marilyn Sandidge: Constructing New Women in Early Modern English Literature
Elizabeth C. Zegura: True Stories and Alternative Discourses: The Game of Love in Marguerite de Navarre's Heptamèron