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Crossing Generic Boundaries: The Clever Courtly Lady

Crossing Generic Boundaries: The Clever Courtly Lady Chapter 5 : The Clever Courtly Lady University of Auckland, New Zealand An important boundary marker for the beginning of the High Middle Ages, in the area of literary studies at least, is the emergence of "courtly" narrative with its remote and lovely "courtly" lady, a figure that modern literary criticism constructs as the ideal against which all other feminine types, particularly the "fabliau" lady, are posed as "deviations" or as parodies.1 Feminist criticism has begun to acknowledge more complicated varieties of the feminine in medieval narrative. Still, most studies of feminine figures in medieval literature assume that the "courtly" lady, the unattainable object of unreciprocated desire, represented the standard for medieval audiences--contested, but the standard, nonetheless.2 One scholar wrote recently that "we have begun to see that within and around the courtly paradigm of unrequited male desire and putative devotion to women, other models productively contest its premises and erode its hegemonic hold on heterosexual amorous coupling."3 Based upon the same assumption of the "courtly" lady as paradigmatic is the widespread view of the fabliau as parodic. Another scholar refers to "Le Chevalier qui fist parler les cons" as "a critique of the elevation of women in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Essays in Medieval Studies West Virginia University Press

Crossing Generic Boundaries: The Clever Courtly Lady

Essays in Medieval Studies , Volume 21 (1) – Mar 31, 2004

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Illinois Medieval Association.
ISSN
1538-4608
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Chapter 5 : The Clever Courtly Lady University of Auckland, New Zealand An important boundary marker for the beginning of the High Middle Ages, in the area of literary studies at least, is the emergence of "courtly" narrative with its remote and lovely "courtly" lady, a figure that modern literary criticism constructs as the ideal against which all other feminine types, particularly the "fabliau" lady, are posed as "deviations" or as parodies.1 Feminist criticism has begun to acknowledge more complicated varieties of the feminine in medieval narrative. Still, most studies of feminine figures in medieval literature assume that the "courtly" lady, the unattainable object of unreciprocated desire, represented the standard for medieval audiences--contested, but the standard, nonetheless.2 One scholar wrote recently that "we have begun to see that within and around the courtly paradigm of unrequited male desire and putative devotion to women, other models productively contest its premises and erode its hegemonic hold on heterosexual amorous coupling."3 Based upon the same assumption of the "courtly" lady as paradigmatic is the widespread view of the fabliau as parodic. Another scholar refers to "Le Chevalier qui fist parler les cons" as "a critique of the elevation of women in

Journal

Essays in Medieval StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Mar 31, 2004

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