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Le chevalier courtois à la rencontre de la Suède médiévale: Du Chevalier au lion à Herr Ivan
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages.
2012 (French)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Courtly Knight Meets Medieval Sweden : From Le Chevalier au lion to Herr Ivan (English)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation investigates the links between Chrétien de Troyes’ romance Le Chevalier au lion from the late twelfth century and the Old Swedish text Herr Ivan, written at the behest of Queen Eufemia of Norway at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The study has two parts. The first sets out to determine the sources of the Swedish text: Was Le Chevalier au lion really the source text of Herr Ivan? The second part raises the question of what happened to the courtly ideals that characterize the French romance when they were transferred into Swedish.

The analysis of the question concerning the sources of Herr Ivan confirms that Le Chevalier au lion was the translator’s main source, while the Old Norse version Ívens saga, from the middle of the thirteenth century, was used as a secondary source. The relationship between Le Chevalier au lion, Ívens saga and Herr Ivan is examined through a comparison of the three texts: the choice of verse or prose, the role of prologues and epilogues, and the use of the voice of a narrator and of direct and indirect discourse. Four specific passages are compared at a micro-level.

By comparing Herr Ivan to its sources, it becomes clear that the Swedish translator wanted to stress certain courtly ideals by presenting a distinct and coherent interpretation of what Chrétien de Troyes refers to as courtoisie. This indicates that the function of the text was to present a set of ideological and aesthetic values. The analysis of the transmission of courtly ideals takes its point of departure in the uses of the French word courtois and the Swedish equivalent hövisker. As a next step, three elements intimately linked to courtliness are examined: aventure, gaieté and honneur. Also the different roles played by the lion are highlighted. Finally, it is shown how the courtly ideals of Herr Ivan can be read in the light of the other Old Swedish texts written at the behest of Queen Eufemia: Hertig Fredrik av Normandie and Flores och Blanzeflor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of French, Italian and Classical Languages, Stockholm University , 2012. , 297 p.
Forskningsrapporter / Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för franska och italienska: cahiers de la recherche, ISSN 1654-1294 ; 47
Keyword [en]
Chrétien de Troyes, Le Chevalier au lion, Herr Ivan, Eufemiavisorna, Ívens saga, medieval literature, medieval translation, Old French, Old Swedish, Old Norse, courtly literature, courtliness
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-78737ISBN: 978-91-7447-539-5OAI: diva2:544129
Public defence
2012-09-21, D9, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 14:00 (French)
Available from: 2012-08-31 Created: 2012-08-08 Last updated: 2012-08-31Bibliographically approved

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