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Mediaevalia

Volume 25, Issue 2, 2004

An Old French Romance and its Adaptations

Anne Reynders
Pages 49-61

La Version en Moyen-Néerlandais du Partonopeude Blois Est-Elle Une Traduction Fidéle d'Une Version Frangaise Aujourd'hui Perdue?

This paper is a comparative study of the continuation of both the Middle Dutch Pardionopeus van Bloys and the Old French Partonopeus de Blois. The author argues that, contrary to the opinions of some previous scholars, Parthonopeus van Bloys is not an unquestioning translation of the French text; rather it represents a subtle reworking of the continuation. The Dutch tale also contains a unique episode which has little in common with the French tradition, which appears to be an original composition rather than a translation of a lost Old French version. The author observes that the Middle Dutch adaptation differentiates more clearly between Christians and Muslims than the Old French version, and notes the narrator's use of humour and irony, particularly in the portrayal of the sultan. She concludes that the writer of Parthonopeus van Bloys was no simple translator, but rather a critical adaptor who analysed his original carefully and then produced a modified text which was popular among the medieval Dutch-speaking public

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