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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53116
Doc. No:TL23070
Call number:‭3186711‬
Main Entry:Megan E. Moore
Title & Author:Translating Byzantium: Cross -cultural marriage and gender in medieval French romanceMegan E. Moore
College:University of Michigan
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:222
Abstract:This dissertation explores how medieval French romances of the twelfth through fourteenth centuries construct representations of Byzantium. I claim that the culture of contact that existed during the Crusades offers a unique context for understanding how Byzantium comes to signify a space for negotiating identities. I situate my readings within this historical context, and I analyze in particular how women who moved between Byzantium and the West during this period were bearers of cultural information, workers of a kind of female translatio. Translatio is usually limited to men---to male writers, theologians, and clerics who practiced the art of medieval translation---but I argue that women who marry across boundaries of culture also exchange information in ways that resonate with the practices of translatio. In Chapter One, I introduce the political, historical, and cultural relations that linked medieval France with Byzantium, and I explore these links using feminist and postcolonial criticism. In Chapter Two, I read Chrétien de Troyes's Cligès as a romance deeply interested in the ways that foreign western women bring new ideas into the Byzantine court, and I claim that the central female character, Fénice, is punished for performing a kind of female translatio, one that brings western ideas of loyalty, based on the oath, to the Byzantine court, which was centered on the gift. In Chapter Three, I focus on a different kind of cultural conversion---religious conversion---in the anonymous Floire et Blancheflor, and I show how the conversion of "pagans" is not limited to Muslims, as scholars have often assumed, but also extends to the recuperation of non-Roman Catholic Christians, in particular Orthodox Byzantines. In Chapter Four, I explore the historical context of failing crusader states as a background for interpreting incest romances such as La Belle Hélène de Constantinople and Philippe de Beaumanoir's Roman de la Manekine, revealing how incest can be an accusation of sexual deviance intended to "other" Byzantine men. Finally, in Chapter Five, I analyze the way a rewriting of Arthur in Floriant et Florete as a world conqueror resonates with historical frustrations of the French vis-à-vis their Byzantine neighbors.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Byzantium; Cross-cultural marriage; French; Gender; Medieval; Romance; Translation; Literature; Middle Ages; Romance literature; Womens studies; 0297:Literature; 0453:Womens studies; 0313:Romance literature; 0297:Middle Ages
Added Entry:P. S. McCracken
Added Entry:University of Michigan