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Living Death in Medieval French and English Literature (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

Living Death in Medieval French and English Literature (Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature)

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Jane Gilbert
Cambridge University Press, 2/17/2011
EAN 9781107003835, ISBN10: 1107003830

Hardcover, 304 pages, 23.5 x 16 x 2 cm
Language: English

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.

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 n'est pas une marguerite
anamorphosis in Pearl
5. Becoming woman in Chaucer
on ne naît pas femme, on le devient en mourant
Conclusion
living dead or dead-in-life?

'The committed reader will be rewarded by the sheer intellectual excitement of a book that gives new meaning to the idea of 'social death'.' Times Higher Education