The Protean Text: A Study of Versions of the Medieval French Legend of

The Protean Text

A Study of Versions of the Medieval French Legend of "Doon and Olive", 1st Edition

By Kimberlee Anne Campbell


138 pages

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Hardback: 9780367183783
pub: 2019-07-12
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Originally published in 1988, The Protean Text looks at the shifting evolution of medieval texts and how changing social and aesthetic values were depicted in the literature of the period. The book examines how this was reflected in the reworking and rewriting of texts - a common practice in medieval literature - as various groups adapted existing legends to their own socio-aesthetic needs. Such textual fluidity often resulted in a proliferation of versions. This tendency to experience the text in protean terms is intrinsic to medieval literary expression. This book uses the legend of "Doon and Olive", to discuss the protean text, and uses the diverse series of extant versions available, to enhance our understanding of the possibilities of literary shift and modulation through this period.

Table of Contents

Preface of the General Editors


1. Historical Contexts

2. Narrative Structures

3. Generic Shift

4. Cultural Shift

5. Beyond Romance


Appendix: Summaries

Works Consulted

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: The Medieval World

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1938 and 1994, draw together research by leading academics in the area of medieval history and medieval literature, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines medieval history from the early Middle Ages, right up until the Reformation, as well as the effect of the medieval period on later cultures, such as the Victorians. This collection draws together books on the monarchy, medieval philosophy, religion, art, music, psychology and architecture as well as volumes on medieval archeology. The collection also brings together key volumes on medieval literature of the period, with formative works examining medieval religious literature, medieval legends and oral tradition. The collection also includes titles examining specific poems from the period such as Piers Plowman, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Pearl, as well as volumes on influential writers of the period such as Jean Froissant, John Lydgate and Margery Kempe. This collection brings back into print a collection of insightful and detailed books on the diverse medieval period and will be a must have resource for academics and students, not only of history and literature, but of anthropology, music, psychology and religion.

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