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Middle English romance and the craft of memory / Jamie McKinstry.

By: McKinstry, Jamie [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks; Studies in medieval romance.Publisher: Cambridge : D.S. Brewer, 2015Description: 1 online resource (248 pages).Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9781782045861; 1782045864.Subject(s): Romances, English -- History and criticism | Memory in literatureAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Middle English romance and the craft of memoryDDC classification: 821/.033/09 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
PR321 (Browse shelf) Available ocn922925821

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Reviews provided by Syndetics


McKinstry (Durham Univ., UK) explores connective, interpretive, structural, and symbolic functions of memory in medieval Romance. The volume opens with a general discussion of memory studies and a survey of scholarship about memory in medieval literature. McKinstry then outlines key classical and medieval memory theories; analyzes how memory lends meaning to objects and landscapes and how Romance narratives resemble memorial rituals; and discusses which types of memories are depicted as most reliable, how memory comes under threat in certain narratives, and how Romances require memory to adapt as experience builds. In the final chapter the author proposes, somewhat vaguely, to examine "the centrality of memory when it becomes central to a Romance plot." The conclusion attempts to bring the book's various observations into harmony with the idea that memory is "essential to a Romance's success as morally satisfying, entertaining, and challenging literature." This conclusion is mostly convincing, and although McKinstry sometimes goes too far in suggesting that Romances are constantly aware of their own internal memorial processes and mechanisms, his research is excellent and he offers many fresh, innovative readings of canonical medieval Romances. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates. --Mark Bradshaw Busbee, Samford University

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