The Romances of Chrétien de Troyes

Joseph J. Duggan

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Twelfth-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes was one of the most influential figures in Western literature, for his romantic poems on the legend of King Arthur gave rise to a tradition of storytelling that continues to this day. This important and fascinating book is a study of all of Chrétien’s work.

Joseph J. Duggan begins with an introduction that sets Chrétien within the social and intellectual currents of his time. He then organizes the book in chapters that focus on major issues in Chrétien’s romances rather than on individual works, topics that range from the importance of kinship and genealogy to standards of secular moral responsibility and from Chrétien’s art of narration to his representation of knighthood. Duggan offers new perspectives on many of these themes: in a chapter on the influence of Celtic mythology, for example, he gives special attention to the ways Chrétien integrated portrayals of motivation with mythic themes and characters, and in discussing the Grail romance, he explores the parallels between Perceval’s and Gauvain’s adventures.

Joseph J. Duggan is professor of French and Bernie S. Williams Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves as associate dean of the Graduate Division.

"This book will become a landmark in Chrétien scholarship, one that will refocus attention on neglected areas, open up new avenues of research, and generate passionate discussions."—Jacques Merceron, Indiana University

“Duggan has produced a thoroughly researched, intelligent exploration of Chrétien’s romances. His book is a welcome and enlightening addition to the field of Chrétien scholarship.”—Mihaela Luiza Florescu, Comitatus: A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies
ISBN: 9780300083576
Publication Date: May 11, 2001
408 pages, 6.125 x 9.25
10 b/w + 3 color illus. + 4 genealogy charts