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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 HUMANITIES 455 France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada, and it studies the first of those six categories, the chansons en laisse, comprising 355 songs (of the 6,000 in the Catalogue) existing in 11,941 versions. As the title suggests, this book will interest a variety of specialties: folklore, medieval poetics, music. Such breadth carries risks: Laforte is not a medieval philologist; this reviewer is not a folklorist. Survivances defines the laisse, studies the stanzaic patterns in which the songs are performed, and then reviews some of the motifs which characterized the genre. The laisse is an underlying structure, or the primary form, which may take any of a variety of secondary stanzaic forms. In any given version, the lines of the underlying form all have the same length (six to sixteen syllables), all end in the same rhyme or assonance, all constitute complete syntactic units, and all have a feminine cesura if the assonance is masculine and vice versa. Verse matches music, resulting in a complete absence of enjambment. Laforte attributes the flexibility of syllable count and assonance to the nature of the oral tradition . Lines of ten or more syllables, not attested before the fifteenth century, show a strongly marked cesura which has often disposed editors of these songs to print the hemistichs as separate lines, giving the effect of alternating rhymed and unrhymed lines. The laisse carries the narrative ; it averages twelve lines in length and may attain as many as twenty lines. Songs are composed of only one laisse. The songs are performed in a secondary, stanzaic form in which one or two lines from the laisse combine with a refrain or refrains...


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