In the second half of the 12th century, the circle of Anglo-Norman culture saw the emergence of anew literary genre utilising Old French – the novel. The first examples of such works are translations of antique narratives which made up a trilogy: “The Tale of Thebes”, “The Tale of Troy” and “The Tale of Aeneas”. The appearance of these works and their popularity derives from the social need. On the one hand they contribute to prestige building of the young monarchy of the House of Plantagenet, who are apparently descended from Trojans. On the other, the very use of the national language, as well as the specific construction of the plot (substantial broadening of the battle-related threads, introduction of amorous motifs, as well as the characteristic construction of the characters and the novel’s decorum) is indicative of the fact that this literature becomes a tool serving to introduce new, lay social elites to the circulation of the higher culture.
Abramowicz M., „Dire vrai” dans les narrations médiévales, Lublin 2007.
Baumgartner E., Le récit médiéval, Paris 1995, s. 19–25.
Bodel J., La Chanson des Saxons, wyd. J. Techener, Paris 1839, w. 6–12.
Dubost F., Aspects fantastiques de la littérature narrative médiévale (XIIe–XIIIe siecles). L’Autre, l’Ailleurs, l’Autrefois, 1, Paris 1991.
Huizinga J., Jesień średniowiecza, Warszawa 1992, s. 95.
Zumthor P., La lettre et la voix. De la „littérature” médiévale, Paris 1987.