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17 - Romance in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Popular Culture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 May 2023

Roberta L. Krueger
Affiliation:
Hamilton College, New York
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Summary

This chapter illustrates the cycle of adaptation, consumption, and production by which the medieval romance genre has sustained itself over time to remain vital in multiple national traditions: French adaptations of Tristan and Isolde and Arthurian romances, Germany’s continuing engagement with the Siegfried legend, Italian novels, such as those written by Umberto Eco and Italo Calvino, Spanish adaptations of Don Quixote and El Cid, and the long Anglo-American love affair with the medieval past. After an examination of the unique intersection of genre, story world, and media that makes medieval romance so infinitely adaptable, the chapter focuses on a series of post–World War II Anglo-American adaptations of the Arthurian legend. These texts, beginning withThe Adventures of Sir Galahad (1949) and concluding with The Green Knight (2021), each produced at a moment when either cultural context or technological innovation provided the impetus for a new Arthurian adaptation, mobilized the romance genre’s adaptive potential and deployed new media and technologies to attract the attention of audiences and critics. As they did so, they brought the narrative back into the cultural conversation, inspired other producers to seek to capitalize on King Arthur’s popularity, and ensured the continuing vitality of medieval romance.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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References

Suggestions for Further Reading

Archibald, Elizabeth, and Putter, Ad, eds. The Cambridge Companion to the Arthurian Legend. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Aronstein, Susan. Hollywood Knights: Arthurian Cinema and the Politics of Nostalgia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
D’Arcens, Louise, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Medievalism. Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Elliot, Andrew B. R. Remaking the Middle Ages: The Methods of Cinema and History in Portraying the Medieval World. North Carolina: McFarland Publishing, 2010.Google Scholar
Finke, Laurie and Shichtman, Martin B.. Cinematic Illuminations: The Middle Ages on Film. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 2009.Google Scholar
Fraser, John. America and the Patterns of Chivalry. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982.Google Scholar
Harty, Kevin J., ed. Cinema Arthuriana (revised edition). North Caroline: McFarland Publishing, 2002.Google Scholar
Lupack, Alan and Lupack, Barbara Tepa. King Arthur in America. Suffolk: D. S. Brewer, 1999.Google Scholar
Lupack, Alan and Lupack, Barbara Tepa The Camelot Project. University of Rochester, https://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot-project. Accessed April 6, 2021.Google Scholar
Rosenthal, Bernard and Szarmach, Paul, eds. Medievalism in American Culture. New York: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1989.Google Scholar
Sullivan, Karen. The Danger of Romance: Truth, Fantasy and Arthurian Fictions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Utz, Richard. Medievalism: A Manifesto. Kalamazoo, MI: Arc Humanities Press, 2017.Google Scholar

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