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Logic and Humour in the Fabliaux: An Essay in Applied Narratology

Logic and Humour in the Fabliaux: An Essay in Applied Narratology (Hardback)

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Synopsis

Joseph Bedier's 1893 definition of the fabliaux as 'funny stories in verse' is still widely accepted as the best brief and general description for a heterogeneous collection of texts. But the heterogeneity creates difficulties and at the periphery of the canon all three of the criteria included in Bedier's definition are open to question. The inventory proposed in the current study is based on a new structural definition, a conjointure, akin to that of romance, combining a logical episteme with a rhetorical narreme. The episteme features a contradictory taken from Boolean algebra, and assumes four different forms, depending on whether ambiguity resulting from the contradictory is understood by neither, by both, or by either the sender or the receiver of a message, In the first two instances, a character foreign to the episteme intervenes to resolve confusion in the narreme, or appears as the victim of the sophistical assumption of a contrary-to-fact reality; in the latter instances the sender or the receiver of the message in the episteme triumphs in the narreme. The resulting inventory, including and augmenting the texts admitted by Per Nykrog and discarding numerous stories already challenged for authenticity, is theoretically defensible to a degree not previously achieved. ROY PEARCY is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of London.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalLiterary studies: c 1500 to c 1800 Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd Publication Date: 18/10/2007 ISBN-13: 9781843841227  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: To Order. Estimated despatch in 1-3 weeks.  

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