Roman de Renart
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Roman de Renart
(Tale of Reynard the Fox), a classic of French urban literature that was largely completed by the mid-13th century. The immediate sources of the work were fables circulating in the folklore of Europe that by the mid-12th century had taken the form in northern France of a cycle of narrative poems. Another source of the work was the Greco-Latin fable tradition of medieval literature.
The Roman de Renart consists of 30 parts (branches), linked by the theme of the conflict between the cunning fox, Renart (Reynard), and the crude, stupid wolf, Isengrim. Like the fabliau, it is written in couplets. In the later parts, written in the 13th century, the entertaining and comic elements of masquerade are replaced by keen satirization of royal authority, the feudal aristocracy, and the clergy. The work has been translated into Dutch, Italian, English, German, and the Scandinavian languages. Goethe’s narrative poem Reineke the Fox (1793) goes back to the Low German version (1498).
PUBLICATIONSLe Roman de Renart, branches 1–17. Edited by M. Roques according to the Cange manuscript. Paris, 1948–60 (in course of publication).
In Russian translation:
In Khrestomatiia po zarubezhnoi literature: Literatura srednikh vekov. Compiled by V. I. Purishev and R. O. Shor. Moscow, 1953. Pages 294–305.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. Pages 144–50.
Flinn, J. Le Roman de Renart. [Toronto] 1963.
Sudre, L. Les Sources du Roman de Renart. Geneva, 1974.
V. S. LOZOVETSKII