Session Title

Inheriting the Grail: Genealogy, Textuality, History

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Lucas Wood

Organizer Affiliation

Durham Univ.

Presider Name

Patrick Moran

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Ottawa

Paper Title 1

Ensi con li contes s'ajoint: Textual Filiation and the Aesthetics of Continuity in the First Continuation of Chrétien de Troyes's Conte du Graal

Presenter 1 Name

Fred Dulson

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of California-Berkeley

Paper Title 2

Genealogies and Fantasies: Arthurian and Christic Miracles in Perlesvaus

Presenter 2 Name

Joseph Derosier

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Northwestern Univ.

Paper Title 3

Solomon's Ship and the Futures of Romance

Presenter 3 Name

Lucas Wood

Paper Title 4

Sone de Nansay: Genealogy and the Grail

Presenter 4 Name

Brandy N. Brown

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Rhodes College

Start Date

17-5-2015 10:30 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1140

Description

Old French Grail literature after Chrétien de Troyes' seminal Perceval obsessively thematizes and theorizes genealogy in various interconnected forms. Late twelfth- and thirteenth-century texts like Robert de Boron's Grail trilogy, the Vulgate (or Lancelot-Grail) Cycle, and the Perlesvaus exploit the Grail's mysterious provenance to develop "explanatory" pseudo-historical fictions on a grand scale. In so doing, they entwine the question of the Grail's meaning with that of its origins in a manner that also informs the texts' reflections on human filiation and literary-historical transmission. These are processes in which the interpretation of the past and the negotiation of its relationship with the present acquire profound aesthetic and ethical stakes. They prompt interrogation of competing models of temporality, of the concepts of determinism and freedom, and of the nature and purpose of romance writing itself. This panel aims to explore genealogy's modalities, meanings and functions in a Grail corpus highly aware of the constraints, responsibilities and creative possibilities associated with its own epigonal status. Of particular interest are the many ways, both explicit and performative, in which the texts connect their own generation and transmission and their active reception of literary predecessors to the genealogical paradigms constructed—and challenged—in their narratives of Grail history.

Lucas Wood

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May 17th, 10:30 AM

Inheriting the Grail: Genealogy, Textuality, History

Schneider 1140

Old French Grail literature after Chrétien de Troyes' seminal Perceval obsessively thematizes and theorizes genealogy in various interconnected forms. Late twelfth- and thirteenth-century texts like Robert de Boron's Grail trilogy, the Vulgate (or Lancelot-Grail) Cycle, and the Perlesvaus exploit the Grail's mysterious provenance to develop "explanatory" pseudo-historical fictions on a grand scale. In so doing, they entwine the question of the Grail's meaning with that of its origins in a manner that also informs the texts' reflections on human filiation and literary-historical transmission. These are processes in which the interpretation of the past and the negotiation of its relationship with the present acquire profound aesthetic and ethical stakes. They prompt interrogation of competing models of temporality, of the concepts of determinism and freedom, and of the nature and purpose of romance writing itself. This panel aims to explore genealogy's modalities, meanings and functions in a Grail corpus highly aware of the constraints, responsibilities and creative possibilities associated with its own epigonal status. Of particular interest are the many ways, both explicit and performative, in which the texts connect their own generation and transmission and their active reception of literary predecessors to the genealogical paradigms constructed—and challenged—in their narratives of Grail history.

Lucas Wood