The same applies very much to Aucassin et Nicolette. (8) Is it entirely coincidental that both of these tales may have their origins in the Arab world?
257-63), not to mention tales like Floire et Blancheflor or Aucassin et Nicolette, or romances in various languages.
The best known of all medieval (vernacular) prosimetric works, however, has to be the French 'cantefable' Aucassin et Nicolette
, which alternates recited prose sections with sung verse.
Its theme of separation and reunion of young lovers resembles that of Aucassin et Nicolette
, though the roles and religion of the two main characters are reversed.
There is also a controversial study of Aucassin et Nicolette
, in which the author (Simonetta Mazzoni-Peruzzi) attempts to demonstrate that it was written by Jean Renart.
Owen, however, escalates his leitmotif by finding Polyphemus yet again transmogrified in Voltaire' Candide (the syphilis-scarred Dr Pangloss), where Owen detects analogies with Aucassin et Nicolette
. The final appearance, none too recognizable, is the big-talking if un-huge Papageno in The Magic Flute.
Butterfield's analysis of numerous texts over the course of two centuries offers a new context for notoriously unique works such as the cantefable Aucassin et Nicolette
, Jean Renart's Roman de la Rose ou de Guillaume de Dole, and Guillaume de Machaut's Remede de Fortune, as well as several other narratives with lyric insertions.
Aucassin et Nicolette
Early 13th-century French chantefable (a story told in alternating sections of verse and prose, the former sung, the latter recited) preserved in a single manuscript in France's Bibliotheque Nationale.
Translation and explanation of easy passages of Old French.' (9) One of the following texts was set each year: the Chanson de Roland; Villehardouin, Joinville (extracts, Hachette); Aucassin et Nicolette
. Passages of Middle French were added later.
If I single out for special attention the group of four papers devoted to the CanteFable, this has two reasons: one, Halpert's realization in 1941 and 1942, and later again in 1974 and 1976, that "the tale interspersed with song," well known to, and much discussed by, literary scholars in connection with the thirteenth-century French narrative Aucassin et Nicolette
, has, or at least had, echoes in American tradition in certain local folk rhymes, riddle tales, and humorous graces before meals, sometimes as the climax to a story.