IMC 2005: Sessions

Session 1121: Time and Humanity: Arthurian Case-Studies

Wednesday 13 July 2005, 11.15-12.45

Moderator/Chair:Catherine J. Batt, Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1121-aHumanity and Ideology: Crusading in Die Suche nach dem Gral and Graf Rudolf
(Language: English)
Ewa Slojka, Department of English, Providence College, Rhode Island
Index terms: Crusades, Language and Literature - German
Paper 1121-bQueste, Crusade, and Apocalypse
(Language: English)
Marco Nievergelt, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
Index terms: Crusades, Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Mentalities, Theology
Paper 1121-cBeauty in the Beast: The Early Irish Sovereignty Motif in Middle English Romances
(Language: English)
Elizabeth A. Fisher, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Celtic, Language and Literature - Middle English, Women's Studies

Grouped by IMC Programming Committee
Abstract Paper -a:
The discourse of past and present in Le Morte Darthur is subtler and more flexible than many critical accounts have suggested. Past and present in Malory are (mainly) not represented on a linear axis of historical continuity/discontinuity. Rather, narrative effects of anteriority and posteriority are variously obtained, and time-registers themselves are more vaguely defined, so that a ‘past-efect’ may often function as an expressive annexe to a ‘present-effect’, and vice versa, allowing major personages, events and the general character of the narrative the privileges of both anterior and posterior status.
Abstract Paper -b:
Discussion of the French Vulgate Queste del Saint Graal in the historical context of the crusades. Particular attention will be paid to the millenarian and apocalyptic prophecies projected onto the crusades at the time. The presence of apocalyptic and crusading overtones in the Queste suggests that the text was conceived as a response to this general ideological climate. I will discuss the manner in which the text reacts to this context, arguing that rather than simply participating in the general rise of apocalyptically connoted crusading enthusiasm, the text in fact constructs its own, spiritual apocalypse as an alternative to the literal apocalypse envisaged by the millenarian prophecies.
Abstract Paper -c:
The extent to which the Middle English Romances (specifically Arthurian) contain aspects of the traditional sovereignty motif, which is so prevalent in early Medieval Irish literature, is both intriguing and ambiguous. How the women in the Middle English texts undergo those transformations commonly attributed to the Irish sovereignty figures, such as old age to youth, poverty to wealth and madness to sanity upon union with the proper ‘king’ or ruler, will be the primary focus of this paper. An investigation into the possible reasons for the pervasiveness of this motif across boundaries and specifically within a genre whose focus is consistently concerned with rulership, paternity and lineage will also be examined.