The Genesis of Narrative in Malory's Morte Darthur

November 2000
211 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Arthurian Studies
ISBN: 9780859915960
Format: Hardback

The Genesis of Narrative in Malory's Morte Darthur

Elizabeth Edwards

A study of the structure of the Morte, focusing on Malory's adaptation, as both redactor and translator, of traditional Arthurian material.
The Morte Darthur is both a representative of the traditions of Arthurian literature, and a complex response to its stock themes and motifs. This book offers a new reading of the principles by which the Morte Darthur is structured, looking at the ways in which Malory deploys the Arthurian tradition and received narratives as both redactor and translator. The sources are considered in particular detail, and the additions and deletions which Malory makes to them: central to the investigation is the ways in which the fifteenth-century work on the one hand conserves thirteenth-century narratives such as Le Mort le Roi Artu, yet on the other reconstitutes it as something new, an approach which differs from the current critical trend of considering the Morte mainly in relation to its contemporary milieu. In so doing, the author develops a theory of `symbolic structure' to account for the principles of generation and combination of narrative elements in Malory, looking at the ways in which entire narratives can be put into motion by the power of a symbol such as Balin's sword, or the grail itself.Dr ELIZABETH EDWARDS teaches at the University of King's College, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


Of great interest to those concerned with...the question of the role of symbolism in Arthurian narrative. SPECULUM

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