Chartrian Influence and German Reception: Dating the Works of Chrétien de Troyes

Chartrian Influence and German Reception: Dating the Works of Chrétien de Troyes

Carey, Stephen M.

Arthuriana 20.3 (2010)


By examining the triangular relationship between the works of Chrétien de Troyes, Alain de Lille, and the German reception of French Romance, this essay argues for the acceptance of the dates proposed in Claude Luttrell’s Creation of the First Arthurian Romance (1974) as the standard for the composition of Chrétien’s œuvre.

In his study the Creation of the First Arthurian Romance, Claude Luttrell argues that Chrétien de Troyes structured the scattered contes d’avanture, or the adventure stories, contained in his romances with the philosophical concepts and poetic devices borrowed from the works of Alain de Lille (c. 1128–1202).1 Luttrell demonstrates an intertextual relationship between Chrétien’s Erec et Enide and Alain de Lille’s Plaint of Nature (De planctu Naturae, 1178–1180) and Anticlaudianus (1182–1183) and establishes a convincing alternative to the traditional dates ascribed to Chrétien’s literary activity.

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