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Unity, Genre, and Subverting the Absolute Past: The Case of Malory’s “Tournament at Surluse”

Unity, Genre, and Subverting the Absolute Past: The Case of Malory’s “Tournament at Surluse”

Hordis, Sandra M.

Medieval Forum Vol.4 (2004)

Scholars examining Malory’s Morte Darthur attempt to force the text into traditional conceptions of genre and unity which serve the text only minimally. By examining the Morte’s “Tournament at Surluse” through Bakhtin’s theory of the absolute past, we discover the comic moments of the text subverting categories of genre and unity, leaving such classifications disrupted. Comedy in the Morte resists arguments classifying the text as a unified tragedy or single romances by disrupting the reverent distance on which these genres are based and the fixed structures on which determinations of unity depend.

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