Marriage and Amor

  • Tracy Adams
Part of the Studies in Arthurian and Courtly Cultures book series (SACC)


The romance, a cocktail of realistic and fantastic detail, transmutes the historical, permitting events to be reclaimed in a new register. The romance thus controls the meaning of the history it processes, and it is therefore a valuable tool for promulgating ideologies. In the words of Geraldine Heng:

[R]omance represents a medium that is neither wholly fantastical nor wholly historical, but in which history and fantasy collide, the one vanishing into the other, almost without a trace, at the location where the advantage of both can most easily be mined. For romance does not repress or evade the historical—as has sometimes been claimed—but surfaces the historical, which it transforms and safely memorializes in an advantageous form, as fantasy…. Negotiating thus history and fantasy to special advantage, the genre of romance offers the skillful manipulator an ideological medium of incomparable value.1

In opposition to strong currents of rhetoric that denied the value of the body, the romance elaborates its characters through their amorous activities. Sexual desire was an issue upon which the Church and the aristocracy agreed in a fundamental way: it was not an emotion upon which to found a marriage.


Sexual Desire Twelfth Century Feudal Lord Passionate Love Dialectical Reasoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Tracy Adams 2005

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  • Tracy Adams

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