Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 10 items for :

  • "narrative grotesque" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Author: Caitlin Flynn

This book introduces a new critical framework for reading medieval texts. The narrative grotesque decentres critical discourse by turning focus to points at which literary texts distort and rupture conventional narratological and poetic boundaries. These boundary-warping grotesques are crystallised at moments affective horror and humour. Two seminal Older Scots works are used to exemplify the multivalent applications of the narrative grotesque: Gavin Douglas’s The Palyce of Honour (c. 1501) and William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo (c. 1507). These texts create manifold textual hybridisations, transfigurations, and ruptures in order to interrogate modes of discourse, narratological subjectivities, and medieval genre conventions. Within the liminal space opened up by these textual (de)constructions, it is possible to reconceptualise the ways in which poets engaged with concepts of authenticity, veracity, subjectivity, and eloquence in literary writing during the late medieval period.

Abstract only
Caitlin Flynn

Ts’ui Pên must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book . And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth . Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing. (Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths ) 1 This study set out with a rather unconventional mission. Its objective was to apply a new framework, which I termed the ‘narrative grotesque’, to make

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
The narrative grotesque
Caitlin Flynn

contribute to this destructive and generative project. The narrative grotesque, therefore, creates a framework through which literary texts may be analysed as they interrogate, distort, and rupture conventions. This study proposes the narrative grotesque as a new collocation of the critical term ‘grotesque’. This new collocation offers to literary criticism a strategy for reading texts that centres discussion on moments that meld together, however briefly, a collection of discordant or opposed elements. This fusion does not

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
Frame, form, and narratorial persona
Caitlin Flynn

From the proliferation of temporal and affective potentialities in Douglas’s dream vision poem, discussion here shifts to William Dunbar’s The Tretis of the Tua Mariit Wemen and the Wedo ( c . 1507). Whereas Douglas’s text is deeply solipsistic and achieves its narrative grotesque within the psyche(s) of a single persona, Dunbar’s work creates antinomy – and ultimately the narrative grotesque – via its complex interplay of speakers and poetic form. These multiple ‘voices’ offer to the audience a

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
Temporal dissonance and narrative voice
Caitlin Flynn

Identity in Palyce is neither static nor singular. Instead, the narrative perspective undergoes constant shifts as the perceptions of the narrator and dreamer intertwine in a dense warren of affective antinomy. The narrative grotesque compellingly appears at moments of convergence and transformation: the dreamer’s experience of horror in the dream is punctuated by absurdity, farce, and comical ridicule. Crucially, these ‘grotesque’ fissures create space for the dreamer and narrator to apprehend the

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Grotesquing the dream vision
Caitlin Flynn

chaotic, boundary-fracturing narrative grotesque through Douglas’s manipulation and innovation of the medieval dream vision genre. 3 This chapter undertakes a forensic analysis of Douglas’s treatment of the conventions long established in the medieval dream vision genre. The discussion takes into account the status of dream vision poetry in medieval thought and writing with a particular focus on the setting and mood first instigated in Palyce ’s frame and pursued in the dream. Crucially, Douglas’s genre

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
The first wife’s response
Caitlin Flynn

veering into invective halfway through her speech. This unexpected shift to the language of flyting, a Scottish form of poetic invective marked by its highly colloquial, vituperative lexicon and impressively complex stanzaic forms, undermines the refined and courtly expectations associated with the demande d’amour . Through this process of rupture and fusion, the wife’s response initiates an intricately constructed interrogation of medieval poetics. As such, the narrative grotesque opens up a space to examine dissonant

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
The widow as venerean preacher
Caitlin Flynn

modes of discourse. This interlacing of a Christian didactic style with classical allegory and a romance lexicon marks the culmination of the narrative grotesque in the Tretis . The widow’s charismatic presence achieves the compelling twinning of repulsion and attraction that finally causes the narrator to quake in awed terror at the close of the narrative. The strong emotional reactions of the women and the narrator further overlay the speech with a patina of humour that invests her discourse with a vibrant irreverence

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Abstract only
Classical and Christian divinity in Palyce
Caitlin Flynn

elevated as a mode of instruction – moral, philosophical, and theological. In the previous chapters two aspects of Palyce ’s narrative grotesque came under scrutiny. The first chapter set Palyce in conversation with other medieval Scottish and English dream visions in order to highlight Douglas’s destructive and recreative treatment of the form. The second chapter built upon this foundation in order to show the ways in which the narrator’s and dreamer’s voices both reflect and react to this setting as cast in the frame

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry
Caitlin Flynn

personal fate. This aspect of the response tests the flexibility of the literary love complaint, arguably the most elastic expression of courtly love poetics. Just as the complaint is often found as a lamenting lyric or ballade within a longer text, so too is the second wife’s complaint. The double work of her speech as both a response to a demande d’amour and a complaint is indicative of the genre trouble plaguing the Tretis . Applying the framework of the narrative grotesque to the second wife’s speech makes

in The narrative grotesque in medieval Scottish poetry