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Reflections of writing, rewriting, and reading in twelfth-century French literature: A study of Guillaume de Palerne as a self-reflexive romance

Hodgson, Eleanor (2015) Reflections of writing, rewriting, and reading in twelfth-century French literature: A study of Guillaume de Palerne as a self-reflexive romance. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This thesis explores Guillaume de Palerne as a self-reflexive romance in which twelfth-century practices of writing, rewriting, and reading are reflected in the narrative. As a romance excluded from the main corpus of texts analysed in medieval studies, Guillaume suffered from critical neglect throughout much of the twentieth century. However, a recent rise in interest in this work has called for its integration into mainstream scholarship. This study develops this trend by examining the contribution that Guillaume can make to existing knowledge of romance production and reception. Detailed analysis of Guillaume and its main themes is presented alongside discussion of the intertextual rewriting found within the text. Taking a bipartite form divided into four chapters, the first half of the study explores transformation, before moving on to the notions of doubling and correspondence, and finally to recognition. The thesis argues that the ‘intertextual game of romance’ played between poet and audience is reflected in the Guillaume narrative through the stress placed on transformation and recognition. By exploring doubling and correspondence, this analysis also highlights the relationship between transformation and recognition in the narrative, which in turn mirrors the partnership between poet and audience in romance creation. With its primary focus on the text, this study is facilitated by an engagement with theoretical frameworks, particularly of intertextuality, that discuss medieval composition and reception, stemming both from medieval studies and from modern literary theory. The thesis argues for a holistic approach to examining texts such as Guillaume, stressing the importance of simultaneously exploring both the intra- and extra-diegetic spheres of this work. In so doing, it sheds new light on this overlooked text, and argues for acknowledgement of the place held by Guillaume in the development of French romance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > French (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.675060
Depositing User: Dr Eleanor Hodgson
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2015 11:37
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10689

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