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Title: Travelling saints and religious travellers in twelfth- to fourteenth-century francophone and Occitan literary texts
Author: Everitt, Merryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 6995
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis considers literary representations of religious travel in twelfth- to fourteenth-century francophone and Occitan texts. It is one of the first studies on medieval French- and Occitan-language literature to consider at length portrayals of religious travel. The research questions are, how does travel help characters and audiences access the divine? What effects does travel have on the traveller’s identity? How is travel affected by the politico-cultural background of the work? Chapter one considers the pilgrim, contrasting pilgrimage narratives with Lais. Drawing on Michael Cronin and Lawrence Venuti’s work, the author evaluates how travel engenders cultural denigration or appropriation. This appropriation reflects twelfth-century reformulations of the frontiers of the French-speaking world. Such readings suggest a remapping of north-west European areas of exchange. Chapter two addresses the hermit by evaluating versions of the Life of saints Barlaam and Josaphat. Using Brian Stock’s concepts, the author considers how textual communities in these texts imbricate translation and literary creation. Travel, translation, and literary creation work together, creating a pattern of spiritual translation which mediates the divine. However, the concept of God in these works is complex and varied. Thus the three texts may supposedly recount the same narrative, but they diverge. Chapter three considers the Crusader, by evaluating travel in a crusade chronicle and a chivalric manual. The author considers how travelling on crusade is motivated by a religious ethos, which is reshaped by the travelling it inspires. Crusading is shown to alter characters’ identities. A comparative reading demonstrates that the Crusader’s travel and military prowess are directed towards incompatible goals. Jacques Lacan’s work is used to chart how historical chronologies are subjectively rewritten. The author utilises Thomas Devaney’s ideas on cross-border interactions, demonstrating that textual incoherence is linked to encounters with non-Christians. These narratives pose questions which undermine their characters’ fanaticism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PQ Romance literatures