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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:52453
Doc. No:TL22407
Call number:‭3273147‬
Main Entry:Stephanie Kristin Lohse
Title & Author:Charlemagne, Roland, and the Islamic Other: Vicarious reading and virtual identityStephanie Kristin Lohse
College:University of Minnesota
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:352
Abstract:This dissertation studies the ways the Old French Chanson de Roland has been read and taught since the famous Oxford manuscript was rediscovered and published in 1837. It analyzes the ways nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century readings have contributed to a sense of French national identity, often constructed vis-à-vis an Islamic Other. In an examination of the twelfth-century Oxford manuscript version of the poem, I identify critical elements of a reading of the text as a narrative of a Manichean struggle between the Christian French (Good) and the Islamic Saracen (Evil). I argue, however, that while the Old French text can lend itself to such a reading, the boundaries of alterity are in fact defined in a more complex way in the text than they may seem on first reading. I examine how the Manichean reading came to be canonical through the mediation of nineteenth-century editions and translations into modern French and how it was institutionalized through the inclusion of the Chanson, interpreted and presented in ideologically-inflected ways, into the national school curriculum. Finally, I demonstrate more complex ways of reading the Old French poem, which include an examination of the narrative displacement that allows the Islamic Other to directly construct the discourse of French identity, as well as a reading of the poem as an interrogation of the medieval clerical debate over forced versus voluntary religious conversion and the hybrid figures that are its result. I conclude that the interrogation of twelfth-century issues by this canonical text has been in part obscured by its cooptation in the service of the many conflicts which have affected nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe.
Subject:Language, literature and linguistics; Chanson de Roland; Charlemagne, Emperor; Islamic Other; Old French; Reception theory; Translation; Comparative literature; Literature; Middle Ages; Romance literature; 0297:Literature; 0295:Comparative literature; 0313:Romance literature; 0297:Middle Ages
Added Entry:S. Noakes
Added Entry:University of Minnesota