Research Interests

 

Thus far, most of my research has examined the historicity of resemblance through the lens of the medieval phenomenon known as réécriture. The rhetorical treatises of the period describe a paradigm for literary invention, clothed in neoplatonic terms, according to which poets and artists were adaptors, but not creators, of poetic material. The poets of the period described themselves as adapting rough and unhewn poetic matter until it conformed to an abstract thema. I examine the practical consequences of this model of literary invention by comparing similar narratives and speculating on the historical significance of the modifications that might have been imposed through the process of adaptation. Because of the relative homogeneity of the tradition, I have dedicated most of my attention to twelfth- and thirteenth-century versions of the Arthurian legend. Most recently, I have turned my attention to the corpus of thirteenth-century Arthurian romances written in verse, and have published a critical edition of a relatively unknown work from that tradition entitled Le chevalier as deus espees. I am also working on the evolution of Law during this period and its relation to thirteenth-century romance and the writing of history.