"Excellent. . . . Offers both a valuable introduction to the romance for general readers while at the same time serving substantial fare to a specialized public."--Matilda T. Bruckner, Boston College
"Groundbreaking discussions of a recently 'discovered,' extraordinary 13th-century literary figure. . . . Splendid essays from highly respected scholars. "--Harriet Spiegel, California State University, Chico
"The authors of The Finding of the Grail have adopted the medieval practice of retelling an old story selectively to renew it for contemporaries. Joseph Bédier did no differently with the Tristan legend. The modern reader will find this elegant little volume equally appealing."--Jeanette Beer, Purdue University
In this first volume of critical essays ever devoted to Jean Renart's work, contributors draw on political and social history, women's studies, translation theory, musicology, and literary theory to illuminate Jean's remarkable contribution to the highly complex genre of courtly romance.
An extraordinary blend of realism and high artifice, unique in its combined use of songs and narrative, Jean Renart and the Art of Romance offers zestful dalliances in high places, handsome but self-serving knights, and a beautiful woman whose decisive intelligence allows her to triumph over daunting odds. An important contribution to our understanding of 13th-century romance, this volume of essays will prove of interest to scholars of medieval French literature, history, musicology, and codicology.
Introduction, by Nancy Vine Durling
Text and Context
1. The Uses of Embroidery in the Romances of Jean Renart: Gender, History, Textuality, by Nancy A. Jones
2. "Once there was an emperor . . .": A Political Reading of the Romances of Jean Renart, by John W. Baldwin
The Language of Lyric and the Language of Romance
3. Lyric Insertions and the Reversal of Romance Conventions in Jean Renart's Roman de la rose or Guillaume de Dole, by Maureen Barry McCann Boulton
4. Suspension and Fall: The Fragmentation and Linkage of Lyric Insertions in Le roman de la rose (Guillaume de Dole) and Le roman de la violette by Michel Zink
5. Jean Renart's Expanded Text: Lïenor and the Lyrics of Guillaume de Dole by Regina Psaki
6. On the Untranslatable Surface of Guillaume de Dole by Patricia Terry
Music and Performance
7. Jean Renart and Medieval Song, by Hendrik van der Werf
Appendix 1: "Bele Aeliz": A Comparison of Lecoy and Gennrich Editions
Appendix 2: Survey of Musical References
Appendix 3: Melodies
Nancy Vine Durling is co-translator, with Patricia Terry, of The Romance of the Rose, or Guillaume de Dole by Jean Renart (English translation with critical notes and introduction, 1993).