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Disputatio (DISPUT 19)

Romance and Rhetoric
Essays in Honour of Dhira B. Mahoney

G. Donavin, A. Obermeier (eds.)
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VIII+281 p., 2 b/w ill., 3 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2010
ISBN: 978-2-503-53149-6
Languages: English, French, German
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Retail price: EUR 70,00 excl. tax
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Reflecting the work of Dhira B. Mahoney, in whose honour this book is published, these essays discuss the intersections between medieval rhetoric and various sorts of medieval literature, with particular focus on romance.

This volume honours the academic career of Professor Dhira B. Mahoney, recently retired from the Department of English at Arizona State University, who is well known for her rhetorical readings of medieval literature. Professor Mahoney’s scholarship employs rhetorical theory in readings of late medieval literature, particularly prologues and epilogues, women’s writings, and Arthuriana. As a response to her work, Romance and Rhetoric offers rhetorical readings of a variety of literary pieces from the late Middle Ages, especially for those authors and genres on which Professor Mahoney has published. Its collected essays provide interdisciplinary studies of art, social and literary history, manuscript transmission, and women’s studies in relation to texts in Middle English, Latin, German, and French. In particular, the essays in this volume focus on the writings of courtly authors such as Chaucer, Lydgate, Malory, Guillaume de Machaut, Christine de Pizan, Chrétien de Troyes, and others. In keeping with the ancient tradition of analysing rhetorical principles in the structure of an art work, they also examine the rhetoric of the manuscript art connected to these authors and the genres in which they wrote. This volume thus fills a gap in medieval literary scholarship, as it evaluates with scrutiny how rhetorical teachings or medieval poetic strategies inform the writing of romances.

Table of Contents





Prologues and Pictures

Exemplars of Chivalry: Rhetoric and Ethics in Middle English Romance - ANN DOBYNS

Jans der Enikel’s Prologue as a Guide to Textual Multiplicity - MARIA DOBOZY

Gifts and Givers that Keep on Giving: Pictured Presentations in Early Medieval Manuscripts - CORINE SCHLEIF


Women and Rhetoric

The Light of the Virgin Muse in John Lydgate’s Life of Our Lady - GEORGIANA DONAVIN

‘Sisters under the Skin’: Margery Kempe and Christine de Pizan - ELIZABETH ARCHIBALD

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Margery Kempe as Underground Preacher - ROSALYNN VOADEN


Lyric, Song, and Audience

Rhetoric and Reception: Guillaume de Machaut’s ‘Je Maudi’ - PHYLLIS R. BROWN

‘Maken Melodye’: The Quality of Song in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales - CHRISTINA FRANCIS

Enacting Liturgy: Estote fortes in the Croxton Play of the Sacrament - JOHN DAMON


Arthurian Literature: Composition and Production

The Rhetoric of Symbolism: The Grail of Fertility and Sterility - ANITA OBERMEIER

Arnold Fanck’s 1926 Film Der Heilige Berg and the Nazi Quest for the Holy Grail - KEVIN J. HARTY

Folklore Motifs and Diminishing Narrative Time as a Method of Coherence in Malory’s Morte Darthur - JUDITH LANZENDORFER

Malory’s Intratexts - ALAN LUPACK

Interest Classification:
Medieval & Modern (Indo-European) Languages & Literatures
Literary theory
Romance literatures
English language & literature
Middle English language & literature

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