So, finished the latest WIP. Not ready to start tackling the dreary task of flaying myself for a readable synopsis and starting to shop it around. Then one of the books I’d requested from inter-library loan came in. Which means the burgeoning To Be Read pile has to burgeon just a little while longer… at least this ILL book wasn’t one with a 1 week deadline! Because they have been.
(Gonzaga always has the coolest Medieval Lit titles. Just sayin’.)
Not only is Gamelyn there, but Thomas of Erceldoune, who was a key player in the Book What Almost Got Movie-d. I really like reading essays about the ballads; agree or disagree with them, new opinions are always good in some fashion, they trigger more insights. And with chapters like “Sons of Devils’ and ‘The Anti-Heroic Heart’… I’m really looking forward to this one.
Called Heroes and Anti-Heroes in Medieval Romance, (ed. Neil Cartlidge), it had me from the introduction:
“Anti-heroism in medieval romance is not just about ideological or moral values… Medieval writers and their audiences seem to have been attracted to anti-heroes, not because of any real anxiety about the meaning of heroism, but simply because of the dramatic possibilities it creates… the concept is useful because it helps to explain the different ways in which medieval narratives invite admiration of figures who are obviously flawed, failed, sinister or destructive…”
Though we modern readers also like anti-heroes, I think we are more anxious about the meaning of heroism. Is it because we have more unrealistic expectations of heroes? Because heroism is always predicated by which ‘side’ views it? Because we are more aware of such things… or less aware?