An examination of the importance of knightly combat in Malory's Morte Darthur.This study of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur centres on its main narrative interest and expressive medium, armed combat. In the analysis of the discourse of fighting, some repeated descriptive preoccupations to do with name, vision, blood, emotion and gesture are examined as `needs of meaning' with relevance for the whole text, and related to political, religious, genealogical, sexual and medical views of Malory's period.
Andrew Lynch's exploration of the powerof `name' as public reputation in the Mortechallenges the usual reading of Malory's adventures, and he goes on to survey Malory reception and the attempts of earlier critics to moralise the fights in terms he sees as inappropriate. His discussion of the narrative vision and thematics of combat covers the whole text, but places special emphasis on the stories of knight-errantry, and particularly the often neglected Book of Sir Tristram.
ANDREW LYNCHis Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Western Australia.
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A well-written study of an important but neglected aspect of Malory's art. Lynch's concern is Malory's treatment of knightly combat and the complex implications with which he is able to invest his descriptions of fighting... Subtle and sensitive. SPECULUM Subtle and challenging... Read this book: it will make you think. ALBION P J C FIELD) No one who has read Andrew Lynch's splendid study will be tempted to ignore `the narrative of combat', for he shows that it is `both a means and an end in Malory'. Well researched and organised, learned, and a useful contribution to Arthurian studies. CHOICE