Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Marriage and the Use of Force in Yvain


Marc Glasser

Document Type


Publication Date



In his comments on Yvain, Erich Auerbach called attention to its nonrepresentational atmosphere, and he argued that courtly culture was "decidedly unfavorable to the development of a literary art which apprehended reality in its full breadth and depth ". Thus it is somewhat surprising to read the recent recommendation by the noted scholar of medieval marriage, Georges Duby, who urges social historians to re-examine literature like Y vain. After finding relatively limited value in the analysis of archival documents, G. Duby suggests historians should have a closer look at narrative literature : " Somewhat richer information is provided by certain narratives, both the fictitious accounts of the literature of amusement - which I urge social historians to reread very carefully - and the somewhat less fictional accounts composed to glorify a house.