This is a major reassessment of the relation between the medieval French chansons de geste and the romance genre. Critics have often dismissed the chansons de geste as coming before and being inferior to the new and distinctively literary achievement of romance. Sarah Kay draws on the most up-to-date literary and feminist theory to show that the two genres in fact existed simultaneously, engaged in a productive and revealing dialogue. Each genre, moreover, illuminates the "political unconscious" of the other: those political conflicts and contradictions--particularly issues of gender--that the text attempts to evade and disguise.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Criticism-Theory,