Weaving Narrative: Clothing in Twelfth-Century French Romance

Paperback | March 25, 2010

byMonica L. Wright

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Enide’s tattered dress and Erec’s fabulous coronation robe; Yvain’s nudity in the forest, which prevents maidens who know him well clothed from identifying him; Lanval’s fairy-lady parading about in the Arthurian court, scantily dressed, for all to observe: just why is clothing so important in twelfth-century French romance? This interdisciplinary book explores how writers of this era used clothing as a signifier with multiple meanings for many narrative purposes. Clothing figured prominently in twelfth-century France, where exotic fabrics and furs came to define a social elite. Monica Wright shows that representations of clothing are not mere embellishments to the text; they help form the textual weave of the romances in which they appear. This book is about how these descriptions are constructed, what they mean, and how clothing becomes an active part of romance composition—the ways in which writers use it to develop and elaborate character, to advance or stall the plot, and to structure the narrative generally.

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Enide’s tattered dress and Erec’s fabulous coronation robe; Yvain’s nudity in the forest, which prevents maidens who know him well clothed from identifying him; Lanval’s fairy-lady parading about in the Arthurian court, scantily dressed, for all to observe: just why is clothing so important in twelfth-century French romance? This inter...

Monica L. Wright is the Joseph P. Montiel Assistant Professor of French at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9.02 × 6.03 × 0.53 inPublished:March 25, 2010Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271035668

ISBN - 13:9780271035666

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Romance and the Fabric of Feudal Society: Conjointure and Change

2. Material Matters: Clothing in Changing Contexts

3. Dressing Up the Character: The Elucidation of Characters Through Clothing

4. Clothing Acts and the Movement from Code to Signifying System

5. Clothing as a Structuring, Thematic, and Narrative Device: The Art of Weaving Romance

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“[Weaving Narrative] provides a fascinating lens through which to look at twelfth-century literary creation.”

—R. Natasha Amendola, Parergon