The Chivalric Romance and the Essence of Fiction


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About the Book

Ranging from Chrétien de Troyes to Shakespeare, this study proposes that the chivalric romance is characterized by a centerless structure, self-conscious fictionality and a propensity for irony.
The form is tied to historical reality, yet represents the archetype of imaginative literature, declaring its fictional status without claiming to embody fixed truths. Through use of irony, the chivalric romance precludes conclusive interpretations, inviting readers to inhabit multifold fantasy worlds while uncompromisingly showing that an ideal world is only a fiction. Thus the reader is enjoined to confront the suspension of truth in their own lives.

About the Author(s)

Dani Cavallaro has written widely about literature, cultural theory, and anime. She lives in London.

Bibliographic Details

Dani Cavallaro
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9983-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2358-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface  1
Part I
One—Genesis  3
Two—Form and Structure  28
Part II
Three—Creative Cornerstones: Chrétien de Troyes and the Lancelot-Grail Cycle  57
Four—Medieval Masters: Chaucer, Malory, the Lay and the Gawain Poet  114
Five—Renaissance Refashionings: Ariosto, Spenser and Shakespeare  152
Bibliography  207
Index  217