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Western Canon Book Club: The Lais of Marie de France

Thursday April 4 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT

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Join host Joseline Yu to uncover the intricacies of courtly love in Marie de France’s lais, as part of the Western Canon Book Club series.

Each of Marie de France’s lais is a short French poem containing an adventure set in Brittany a long time ago. These adventures blend supernatural elements and chivalrous deeds with incisive commentary on how men and women relate to each other which remains relevant to modern dating. There is also an overarching quest underlying the various love stories to overcome isolation and ostracization in a society which appears to be upheld by noble values.

In this salon, we’ll talk about what Marie de France’s lais reveal about courtly love and obtaining true love from a specific beloved or a community. Our discussion will be centred on the following four poems:

  • Guigemar
  • Bisclavret
  • Lanval
  • Chaitivel

Selected excerpts from the translation by Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby will be shared during the salon. Those who have yet to read or finish the text are welcome to join!


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Thursday April 4
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm EDT
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