Parody in Isengrimus

Donald Yates

in Gabriel Bianciotto & Michel Salvat, ed., Épopée Animale, Fable, Fabliau: Actes du IVe Colloque de la Société Internationale Renardienne, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1984, 702-708

"Not only is Isengrimus the eariest fully developed example of medieval animal epic, a forerunner of the vernacular cycles of Reynard the fox, but it is also a masterpiece of the first rank and one of the jewels of the twelfth-century literary renaissance. Despie the poem's large interest for literary studies, folklore, and intellectual history, however, it has received but little scholarly attention, and that by no means unanimous. The elucidators of its difficult text ... have disagreed radically over such fundamental questions as the identity of the author, the date of composition, and the land of origin. To the unresolved debate over the poem's historical background may be added several practical questions of a purely literary nature: To what genre does the work belong? How is it organized? What does its structure reveal? And finally, what is the meaning of the pervasive satire and irony? In the present contribution I hope to show that the basis of the parody in Isengrimus, and of the satire as a whole, is a sophisticated and universal sense of irony." - Yates

Language: English


Last update December 10, 2021