IMHICIHU   13380
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
congresos y reuniones científicas
Finding place for romance: rewriting British geography in Anglo-Norman romance
Congreso; ?Reescribir la materia artúrica. Homenaje a Harvey L. Sharrer?, Primer coloquio internacional organizado por la rama hispánica de la International Arthurian Society; 2015
Institución organizadora:
Rama hispánica de la International Arthurian Society - Universidad de Granada
In terms of literary history, Wace?s Brut has a significant role in the development of vernacular fictional writing. As several scholars since Gaston Paris in the nineteenth century have argued, the skeptical remarks of the Norman cleric on the ?merveilles? allegedly experienced during the twelve years? Arthurian peace would have opened in the chronicle of the British kings a temporal gap, which was cunningly exploited by Chrétien de Troyes as a historical frame for his fictional romances. The European success of the Arthurian literary model established by Chrétien and his followers is well-known. Less acknowledged has been, perhaps, the relative indifference and mistrust with which the Matter of Britain was met in the Anglo-Norman literature which flourished in England during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Only recently, Rosalind Field and Judith Weiss have shed some light on this topic from a historical and political point of view, drawing the attention to the reserve which these texts, probably written under the patronage of provincial lords, deal with the Arthurian centralizing myth and imperial ambitions. This paper aims to contribute to these results, assessing, from the standpoint of literary poetics, to what extent the authors of Anglo-Norman narratives, such as Waldef, not only question Arthurian political ideals but also engage in a critical dialogue with the generic model created by Chrétien in the Continent. It will be argued that the resulting differences in the shape of the romance genre at either side of the Channel become especially noticeable in the representation of space, as may be appreciated in the varying use and function attributed to British geography in insular and continental romances. The same territory, the British Isles, is at the base of the narrative maps outlined by both the Anglo-Norman and the continental poets. However, their lines and contours hardly overlap: while from the Continent the British Isles appear mostly as a foggy and enigmatic territory highly convenient to convey the moral sen of the tale, in insular texts place tends to achieve the more precise outline attested in contemporary historical writings.