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Adgar. Le Gracia!. Edited by Pierre Kunstmann University of Ottawa Mediaeval Texts and Studies 8 Editions de l'Universite d'Ottawa. 396. $12.00 paper As Professor Kunstmann reminds us in his prologue, all the texts in this edition have been edited previously but they have never been put together in one volume. Also, the earlier editions are not up to modern standards and are almost impossible to find. This edition presents fortynine 'miracles de Notre-Dame' translated by Adgar from Latin in the latter half of the twelfth century. Kunstmann notes that we know nothing of Adgar apart from what he mentions of himself in his work. All that is certain is that he was a cleric who wrote to ensure for himself both eternal salvation and earthly patronage. Adgar found the text he translated , his 'essamplaire,' in the library of Saint Paul's in London. It seems sure that this text represents a bringing together, by Alberic of Saint Paul's, of three earlier collections of miracles: those of Dominic of Evesham (the first fourteen miracles of Oxford Balliol 240), two series which, since A. Mussafia, are known as Hildefonsus-Murieldis and Toledo-Samstag, and William of Malmesbury's collection.These three collections, together with other possible sources and influences, are exhaustively compared in terms of content in the introduction to this edition. Part three of the introduction offers a narratological analysis of the miracles and is based primarily on the work of A.J. Greimas. A semiotic square provides the basic structuring model (modele constitutionnel) of the miracles. salut perte deixis ~ 9- deixis .9 positive <; ~ lII!gative ,~ ,.- '" perte sa/lit de grt! q, An unfortunate printing error seems to be responsible for the fact that the overhead negating strokes are absent for 'perte' and 'salut'. I have added them in the above reproduction. The developing narrative can move in one of two directions offered by this model. They are the fan from salvation to damnation, and what Kunstmann calls the 'itineraire' from 'salut,' via 'perte' to 'salut.' This 454 LETTERS IN CANADA 1982 is a compelling demonstration but it has been made so concise as to present considerable difficulty for those uninitiated to Greimassian practice . The actantial model of the miracles is two-fold in that the subject man, for whom the sender God assigns the object salvation, can also be the subject for whom the anti-sender Satan assigns the object damnation, with the concomitant inversion of the helpers and opponents of the first model. This two-tiered actantial model is very helpful in identifying the narrative potential of the many-faceted nature of Mary and of Satan as well. Finally, in the narratological analysis, Kunstmann describes the narrative sequences of the miracles in terms of syntagms which allow him, together with further reference to his actantial model, to set up a list of narrative elements and identify the miracles in which they occur. This list is found at the end of the volume. The terms defined in this section on narrative sequences are used in the individual analyses of the forty-nine miracles which follow, each analysis beginning with a brief summary of the miracle's action and actors. Each such summary is followed by bibliographical information on other French versions of that miracle. Kunstmann's critical apparatus is complete and rigorous and mercifully avoids repetition of detail and argument from the existing philological and lexical canon which the reader, guided by the editor's bibliographical reminders, can consult for himself. This edition of Adgar's Gracial is in general a valuable new document for specialists and novices alike. Kunstmann is once again to be congratulated for demonstrating, through his narratological study, that most texts from our medieval heritage are of more than technical and philological interest. These are stories to move, inspire and entertain . (FRANK COLLINS) Conrad Laforte. Survivances medievales dans ia chanson folklorique, Poetique de Ia chanson en laisse ('Ethnologie de I'Amerique fran, aise') Quebec: Presses de l'universite Laval 1981. ix, 300. $20 The medievalist is delighted to find documented in this book the persistence of lyric forms and motifs from the thirteenth century to the twentieth. Survivances medievales, the latest publication in a study of French folk songs which Laforte began in 1953 (Catalogue de la chanson folklorique franr;aise, 1958; revised and much expanded starting in 1977; and see also his POIitiques de la chanson traditionnelle franfaise ou classification de la chanson folklorique franfaise, 1976, for the six basic gtoups of songs in the catalogue), draws on seven hundred years of folk songs from ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 453-454
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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