Amplification as gloss in two twelfth-century texts: Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie and Renault de Beaujeu's Li Biaus Descouneüs
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Where does a literary text originate and how is it formed? What are the influences at work on the writer as he produces his work and can these be perceived by the audience or reader? The focus of this study is the literary process which took place when a medieval writer wrote. This is conducted with reference to two texts representative of the period around the end of the twelfth century to the beginning of the thirteenth century: Robert de Boron's Joseph d'Arimathie and Renaut de Beaujeu's Li Biaus Descouneüs. The vocabulary which I have chosen in order to approach these questions, notably antancion, gloser la lettre and the technique of amplification, highlight the awareness of fiction, or fictional creation, called for by these writers. Both Robert and Renaut are builders of stories, elucidating and expanding the material at their disposal. The original idea is conceived in the poet's mind. This is then the starting point for a construction which relies on the combination of learned literary tradition with its patterns and codes and the wealth of material derived from antecedent sources. This study demonstrates that this seemingly artificial construct is individualised through the application of poetic antancïon. Despite evidence of extensive borrowing from a number of different sources, both Robert and Renaut can be credited with producing texts which exhibit an authorial perspective which departs from the original source and take a new direction. The way in which they achieve this is the subject of my research.