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Title: Imagining Troy : fictions of translation in medieval French literature
Author: Stoll, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 1522
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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Stories of the Trojan War and its aftermath are the oldest – apart from those in the Bible – to be retold in medieval literature. Between 1165-1450, they catch the imagination of French-language writers, who create histories in and for that burgeoning vernacular. These writers make Troy a place of origins for peoples and places across Europe. One way in which writers locate origins at Troy is through the device of translation. Geoffrey of Monmouth, Benoît de Sainte-Maure and the writers of the prose Troie, the Histoire Ancienne and the Roman de Perceforest all claim to have translated old texts; for Benoît and the prose Troie writers, this text is a Latin copy of an eyewitness account of the Trojan War. The writers thus connect their locations with Troy retroactively, in both space and time. Within this set of highly successful stories, writers’ presentations of translation therefore have important consequences for understanding what is at stake in medieval French textual production. Taking Derrida’s Monolinguisme de l’Autre as my theoretical starting point, this thesis sheds new light on medieval writers’ concepts of translation, creation and origins by asking two questions: • To what extent is translation considered integral to creation and textual production in medieval French texts? • Why does the conceit of translation from a lost source seem to shape narratives even when this source is a fiction? All these writers produce texts in French, or translate from that language, but these texts were written in geographically distinct areas: the Roman de Troie comes from Northern France, the prose Troy traditions are copied mainly in Italy, John Gower wrote in London, Christine de Pizan was at court in Paris and the extant Perceforest manuscripts were produced in Burgundy. The Trojan material therefore inspires writers throughout this period all over Western Europe.
Supervisor: Gaunt, Simon Benjamin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available