Joerg O. Fichte

From Camelot to Obamalot


Essays on Medieval and Modern Arthurian Literature


This collection of twelve essays consists of two parts: six essays on medieval and six essays on modern Arthurian literature. The essays on medieval literature treat general topics in Arthurian literature and historiography such as the typology of romance in general and of Arthurian romance in particular (essay 1). Essays 2, 3, and 4 investigate the relationship of historiography, i.e., historia, and fiction, i.e., fabula, together with the rhetorical strategies appropriate to each genre (essay 2) and the resulting literary structures (simple linear and complex entrelacement), including responses to Chrétien's model plot (essays 3 and 4). Essay 5 analyses the forms of the wondrous (monsterous, mysterious, magical, and miraculous) in the Middle English Gawain romances. Essay 6, an analysis of the Queste del Saint Graal and Malory's Tale of the Sankgreal with regard to choice, serves as a link to the second part, laying the groundwork for the treatment of the Grail and the Grail quest in modern Arthurian fiction. Essay 7 focuses on the fortunes of Galahad and essay 8 on the conception of the Grail in 19th- and 20th-century English literature. Essays 9 and 10 deal with Utopian and dystopian elements in two contemporary German plays (Merlin oder das wüste Land and Die Ritter der Tafelrunde) and in 19th- and 20th-century Anglo-American Arthurian fiction. Imperialism in Tennyson's Idylls of the King is the subject of essay 11 and Arthurian myth (origin, conception of the hero, and golden age) the topic of essay 12. All essays on modern Arthurian narratives are linked to the Middle Ages, i.e., themes such as the Grail and the Grail quest, Utopian discourse, imperialism, and Arthurian mythology are traced back to their origins, in order to demonstrate the continuity of the topics and concerns negotiated in Arthurian literature.


ISBN 978-3-86821-256-3, 208 S., kt. EUR 24,50 (2010) 


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