ELCS6023 - Comic Tales in the European Middle Ages
Value: 0.5 course units
Tutor: Dr Sebastian Coxon
Assessment: 2 assessed essays of 2,000 words
This module will look at one especially widespread literary tradition of the European Middle Ages: the comic tale, or ‘fabliau’, or ‘Märe’. It will provide an introduction to the close textual analysis of pre-modern narrative, as well as considering the theoretical and methodological issues arising from the analysis of comedy and laughter in a historical context. Students may read primary texts in the original or in English translation. Students who do not read one or more of the original languages will not be disadvantaged.
Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:
- 'Medieval Comic Tales', ed. Derek Brewer, London 2008 [includes translations of Latin, medieval French, German, Spanish and English texts]
Initial Secondary Bibliography:
- Bloch, Howard R., 'The Scandal of the Fabliaux', Chicago 1986
- Coxon, Sebastian, 'Laughter and Narrative in the later Middle Ages. German Comic Tales 1350-1525', London 2008
- Grubmüller, Klaus, 'Die Ordnung, der Witz und das Chaos: Eine Geschichte der europäischen Novellistik im Mittelalter: Fabliau – Märe – Novelle', Tübingen 2006
- Levy, Brian J., 'The Comic Text: Patterns and Images in the Old French Fabliaux', Amsterdam 2000
- Olson, Glending, 'Literature as Recreation in the Later Middle Ages', Ithaca 1982.