The Face in Medieval French Literature, 1170-1390 [Hardback]

Alice Hazard(Author)

$120.00
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ISBN: 9781843845874 | Published by: D.S. Brewer | Series: Gallica | Volume: Volume 45 | Year of Publication: 2021 | 256p, 31 black and white
Status: Not Yet Published - Available for pre-order


The Face in Medieval French Literature, 1170-1390

Details

In medieval French literature, faces feature heavily as markers of identity, mood, class, status, and even humanity. The information that they convey can be strategically concealed and revealed, but they are always understood to be legible.
This book explores the face as a medieval literary motif and as a modern phenomenon, charting its limits and interrogating the idea of face as a universal signifier. It examines what happens when faces are not legible, when they are found on non-human surfaces, and when they migrate across the human body. It looks at faciality in a series of texts from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, moving from Arthurian tales, through the Roman de la Rose to the fabliaux, as well as examining fourteenth-century manuscripts in which faces appear as disembodied doodles. Reading these texts in conjunction with twentieth-century theories of face and faciality, and considering the ideas behind twenty-first-century face recognition technology, this book argues that faces in the popular imagination tell us less about identity than they do about how we understand and interact with the world around us.

ALICE HAZARD teaches in the Department of French at King's College London

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