IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 332: Borders and Margins in Medieval Literature

Monday 6 July 2020, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Wallace Cleaves, Department of English University of California Riverside / Tongva Tribal Nation Claremont
Paper 332-aThe Marvellous 'Margins' of Britain: Representations in Old French Literature, 1100-1300
(Language: English)
Laura Bailey, Faculty of History University of Cambridge
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Mentalities
Paper 332-bMalory's Dog-Like Questing Beast and the Limits of Arthurian Justice
(Language: English)
Toy-Fung Tung, Department of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Middle English, Political Thought
Paper 332-cBorders between Myth and Allegory in the Manuscripts of L'Ovide Moralisé
(Language: English)
Chloe McCarthy, Faculté de Lettres Traduction et Interprétation Université libre de Bruxelles
Index terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Abstract

Paper -a:
The geographical ‘margins’ of the British Isles frequently serve as the location for marvellous beings, occurrences, and enchantments in Old French literature of the 12th and 13th centuries. In this paper, I will analyse the representation of the marvellous across these settings in several Old French texts, tracing common motifs and exploring how their representation might map onto those in Latin ‘historical’ writings and in ecclesiastical teachings. This will lead to a broader consideration of the relationship between ‘fiction’ and ‘history’, asking how differing narratives might have played into the lived experience of the audience.

Paper -b:
This paper will explore the role of the dog-like Questing Beast in making and breaking boundaries in Malory’s Morte D’arthur. The exclusivity of the Questing Beast adventure, owned first by King Pellinor, and afterwards by Palomides, evokes the owner-dog bond, which challenges the romance’s hierarchical human affinities among Round Table knights and their purported values. Why are Pellinor and Palomides linked by the Beast adventure? Pellinor’s uneasy assimilation into the Round Table (as Torre’s father and King Lot’s killer) contrasts with Palomides’s valorous victories and unrequited love for Isolde. The Beast, which seeks, barks, and is sought, signals the limits of the Arthurian performance of justice, as well as the possibility of reimagining those limits through Palomides’s transformative yearning to be ‘other’.

Paper -c:
L’Ovide moralisé, the first complete translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, is a work that brings together two types of discourse: a mythological and an allegorical. My paper will aim to explore the borders between these two types of discourse within the manuscript tradition (consisting of 19 manuscripts produced over a period of 150 years), through an analysis of the paratexts. I will try to see if elements such as illustrations, rubrics, marginal annotations and reading marks contribute to make explicit the distinction between myth and allegory or if, on the contrary, they tend to conceal the heterogeneous nature of the text.