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Author Gilbert, Jane, 1964-

Title Living death in medieval French and English literature / Jane Gilbert
Published Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (viii, 283 pages)
Series Cambridge studies in medieval literature ; 84
Cambridge studies in medieval literature ; 84
Contents Cover -- Half-title -- Series-title -- Title -- Copyright -- Contents -- Acknowledgements -- Note on translations -- Introduction: living death -- Life and death -- Entre-deux-morts -- Death and the work of art -- Lacanian ethics and politics -- Antigone -- Antigone's drive -- Antigone's desire -- A medieval antigone? -- The structure of this book -- Chapter 1 Roland and the second death -- Death drive and life cycle -- Roland between two deaths: the assonanced chanson de roland -- Assonance and rhyme -- The sublime object of ideology -- Chapter 2 The knight as Thing: courtly love in the non-cyclic prose Lancelot -- The non-cyclic prose lancelot -- 'Courtly love and its discontents -- Lancelot and guinevere: lacanian courtly lovers? -- Courtly love ethics -- Galehot -- The knight as thing -- Lamour chevaleresque en anamorphose -- Chapter 3 The ubi sunt topos in Middle French: sad stories of the death of kings -- Imagining sovereignty -- 'Je suis mort -- Dead man talking: villon's 'ballades du temps jadis -- The 'ballade des dames -- The 'ballade des seigneurs -- The 'ballade en vieil langage fran231;ois -- Chapter 4 Ceci nest pas une marguerite: anamorphosis in Pearl -- The narrative -- Anamorphosis -- Pearl as anamorphosis -- Looking awry: heaven versus earth -- Heavenly reason: heaven plus earth -- Pearls and daisies -- Arts of mourning -- Marguerites -- Desiring marguerites -- Full circle? -- Chapter 5 Becoming woman in Chaucer: on ne nat pas femme, on le devient en mourant -- Double obsequies -- Book of the duchess -- Legend of good women -- The revenant -- Repetition -- Conclusion: living dead or dead-in-life? -- Notes -- Introduction: living death -- 1. Roland and the second death -- 2. The knight as thing: courtly love in the non-cyclic prose lancelot -- 3. The ubi sunt topos in middle french: sad stories of the death of kings -- 4. Ceci nest pas une marguerite: anamorphosis in pearl -- 5. Becoming woman in chaucer: on ne na26;305;t pas femme, 10;on le devient en mourant -- Conclusion: living dead or dead-in-life? -- Bibliography -- Primary works and translations -- Reference works -- Secondary works -- Index
Summary "Medieval literature contains many figures caught at the interface between life and death - the dead return to place demands on the living, while the living foresee, organize or desire their own deaths. Jane Gilbert's original study examines the ways in which certain medieval literary texts, both English and French, use these 'living dead' to think about existential, ethical and political issues. In doing so, she shows powerful connections between works otherwise seen as quite disparate, including Chaucer's Book of the Duchess and Legend of Good Women, the Chanson de Roland and the poems of Francois Villon. Written for researchers and advanced students of medieval French and English literature, this book provides original, provocative interpretations of canonical medieval texts in the light of influential modern theories, especially Lacanian psychoanalysis, presented in an accessible and lively way"-- Provided by publisher
"This book is about the ways in which certain medieval literary texts use death, dying and the dead to think about problems relating to life - problems political, social, ethical, philosophical or existential. More specifically, it is about the dynamic interface between life and death and about figures caught at that interface, hence 'living death'. There are ghosts and revenants who, although dead, actively speak and will, disturbing the properly living. And there are those who while alive exist under a deathly shadow that forecloses their engagement with life and isolates them from their fellows. Vampires, ghosts and zombies are currently fashionable in popular culture; in literary criticism, tropes of the interstitial, the intermediary or the 'third' are in vogue. What I have attempted to do in this book is to use some of the latter - in particular, Lacan's notion of l'entre-deux-morts - to think through some medieval examples of phenomena related to the former: dead who return to place demands on the living; living who foresee, organize or desire their own deaths"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 253-278) and index
Notes Print version record
Subject Dead in literature.
Death in literature.
Death -- Moral and ethical aspects.
Death -- Political aspects.
English literature -- Middle English, 1100-1500 -- History and criticism.
Ethics in literature.
Existentialism in literature.
French literature -- To 1500 -- History and criticism.
Genre/Form Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0511777299 (electronic bk.)
0511861052 (electronic bk.)
9780511777295 (electronic bk.)
9780511861055 (electronic bk.)