Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Living in Purgatory: Marie de France’s Espurgatoire Seint Patriz
by Zokhrabyan, Narine, M.A., California State University, Los Angeles, 2018, 38; 13419113
Abstract (Summary)

Marie de France held tremendous success and status in the twelfth-century, yet she suffered and still suffers from marginalization. Many people focus only on her justly famous Lais and give ample attention to her Fables, yet tacitly marginalize her translation of the Tractatus de Purgatorio Sancti Patricii called Espurgatoire Seint Patriz. The overt Christian aspect of the Espurgatoire, unlike the implicit Christian aspect of the Lais, might be off-putting to readers who might consider the work doctrinally facile and derivative and therefore, they disregard it. However, if we look at all of Marie’s texts, and put the Espurgatoire in dialogue with her other works, we see that they are all unified by the themes of chivalric honor, social justice, and Christianity.

Central to our understanding to this, is knowing precisely how Marie treated the inherited text of the Espurgatoire, the Tractatus de Purgatorio Sancti Patricii. Even though she is serving as a translator, she has contributed a Prologue, Epilogue, and linking material between episodes, and it is in these linking episodes we see Marie’s playful authorial bravado, her search for justice, and her deep concerns as a Christian poet. This understanding of Marie’s framework only comes when her works are read as a whole, hence one ought not to overstate the connections between Latin spiritual work and Marie’s inventive breton lais, but one will find ironically that what we love about the Lais is present in the Espurgatoire.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Calabrese, Michael A.
Commitee: Huld, Martin, Wells, Scott, Greenberg, Linda
School: California State University, Los Angeles
Department: English
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/1(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Espurgatoire Seint Patriz, de France, Marie , Purgatory, St. Patrick's Purgatory
Publication Number: 13419113
ISBN: 9781085561983
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