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É/change / Ex/change

Transitions et transactions dans la littérature française / Transitions and Transactions in French Literature

Edited By Manuel Bragança and Steven Wilson

Alors que les notions d’échange et de changement sont l’objet d’études fréquentes dans les domaines économiques, linguistiques ou encore anthropologiques, elles ne sont que rarement prises en compte per se dans le domaine littéraire. En insistant sur les ambiguïtés, les chevauchements et les interactions entre ces deux thèmes dans la littérature française de l’époque médiévale à nos jours, ce recueil d’articles démontre leur porosité et leur instabilité. Le terme ‘é/change’ – écrit avec une barre oblique – entend souligner ainsi la tension inhérente à la littérature française que révèle ce volume issu d’une conférence qui s’est tenue à Queen’s University Belfast en Mai 2008 sur ce même thème.
Whereas the notions of exchange and change are often the subject of enquiry in the context of financial, linguistic or anthropological discourses, they are rarely analysed for the essential role they play in the literary domain. By exploring the ways in which change and exchange interact in French literature from the medieval period to the present day, this volume explores their fluidity and instability. Drawing on a number of conference papers presented at Queen’s University Belfast in May 2008 on the theme of ex/change – a term that deliberately draws attention to the tension between these notions – the essays presented here shed new light on a neglected but underlying theme in French literature.

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II. Transactions -69

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II. Transactions Siân Prosser Strangers in the Sepulchre, Exchanging Glances: Depictions of Hector’s Death in the Illuminated Manuscripts of the Roman de Troie Hector’s death at the hands of Achilles looms large in the numerous accounts of the Trojan war handed down over the centuries. This is certainly the case in the Roman de Troie,1 composed around 1165 by Benoît de Sainte- Maure. It is one of a group of texts translated from classical sources into the vernacular in the twelfth century, known as the romans d’antiquité, which also includes the Roman d’Eneas, based on the Aeneid, and the Roman de Thèbes, based on the works of Statius.2 The Roman de Troie was regarded as the authoritative version of the Troy legend during the Middle Ages and sixty extant manuscripts attest to its popularity; it was in turn reshaped by later authors such as Christine de Pizan, Chaucer and Boccaccio.3 Several factors explain its success. One third of the text is taken up by detailed accounts of the military exploits, redolent with epic motifs, from which Hector emerges as the pre-eminent epic hero.4 The myth of the Trojan descent of the French nation caused great interest in ancestors as worthy 1 Benoît de Sainte-Maure, Le Roman de Troie, ed. by Léopold Constans, 6 vols (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1904–12). 2 Le Roman d’Eneas: édition critique d’après le manuscrit B.N. fr. 60, ed. by Aimé Petit (Paris: Livre de poche, 1997); Le Roman de Th...

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