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30 review for Le Lai de Lanval

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark Hiser

    When I led my Survey of British Lit class in a discussion of this short tale, I suggested a Freudian interpretation of the story; eyes got wide and the discussion got going. Maybe that story of fairy love in the deep forest away from everyone is a different kind of fantasy! Maybe the story is more than a humorous tale that involves switched gender roles, but that also gives insight into a woman's view of what a man wants. Maybe it is a story that questions our fantasy views of love when they enc When I led my Survey of British Lit class in a discussion of this short tale, I suggested a Freudian interpretation of the story; eyes got wide and the discussion got going. Maybe that story of fairy love in the deep forest away from everyone is a different kind of fantasy! Maybe the story is more than a humorous tale that involves switched gender roles, but that also gives insight into a woman's view of what a man wants. Maybe it is a story that questions our fantasy views of love when they encounter the real world. And, if the tale was told in the court of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, maybe it is also a comment about a "house divided." Next week we'll take a look at "The Wife of Bath's" tale as she answers, what is it a woman wants? Who says this "old stuff" is boring?!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne Olson

    Oh boy. I love Lanval. I think this has been my favorite assigned reading ever. Arthurian legends are my shit and this one read like a fairytale or myth and boy I'm just happy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Esmay

    I just really love these lai's!! They are soo amazing! I just love the way they are old and I love the underlying sarcasm of them!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rosemary Atwell

    I love the Lais of Marie de France and this one is no exception.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dalar P

    Just wanted to let you guys know I read the English version, since there is no English edition.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Written by the most awesome Marie de France in the 12th century, The Lay of Lanval takes us through the strange romance of an Arthurian Knight, Lanval, and a mysterious woman, presumably a faerie queen, on to his imprisonment for insulting Queen Guinevere, and to his eventual vindication. Lanval is not favored by Arthur and the men may “feign the appearance of love” (24) but apparently they “would not have been at all disturbed” (26) “if something unpleasant happened to him” (25). He is a rich ma Written by the most awesome Marie de France in the 12th century, The Lay of Lanval takes us through the strange romance of an Arthurian Knight, Lanval, and a mysterious woman, presumably a faerie queen, on to his imprisonment for insulting Queen Guinevere, and to his eventual vindication. Lanval is not favored by Arthur and the men may “feign the appearance of love” (24) but apparently they “would not have been at all disturbed” (26) “if something unpleasant happened to him” (25). He is a rich man from a foreign household who, since Arthur is not giving him gifts, is in rather dire straits. That is, until he begins an affair with a beautiful rich woman who provides him with more than he needs so long as he tells no one of their affair. If he speaks of their love, she will desert him forever. Unfortunately, Queen Guinevere takes a liking to Lanval and propositions him. He rejects her, and instead of taking it like a lady, Guinevere shockingly insults Lanval, insinuating that he is gay, a “base coward”, and a “lousy cripple”, who is so horrid that God may abandon Arthur because he associates with Lanval (280-286). Lanval loses it and tells Guinevere that he is in love with a woman whose servants are “better than [Guinevere] / in body, face, and beauty” (300-301). The queen, royally ticked off (pun intended) tells Arthur that Lanval tried to seduce her and when she rejected him he “insulted and offended her” (319). Arthur has Lanval arrested for his offense against Guinevere. Knowing he broke his promise to his mistress and that, true to her word, she will no longer be with him, Lanval does not care about the charges against him: “they could have killed him, for all he cared” (358). Lanval denies the charges against him, saying that he did not proposition the queen and that, while he did say his love was more beautiful, he was speaking the truth in that matter. Arthur puts Lanval on trial, and the court begs Lanval to bring forth his lady love as if he can prove she is more beauteous than Guinevere, then he will have spoken the truth and be vindicated. He, of course, can't get in touch with his mistress since he broke the rules and told someone about her. Eventually she does show up, and as everyone can see she's like the cat's meow and hotter than hot, Lanval is set free. He rides off into the sunset with his love. I find the relationship between Lanval and the mystery woman fascinating. This woman seems to be the one in control of the relationship. She approaches Lanval, she sets the terms of their relationship, she’s the one with the money. She is, in effect, Lanval’s sugar momma. Now the poem states that “she was completely at his command” (218), but I can’t quite figure out how that is so. While she does ‘make herself available’ to him sexually, I’m inclined to believe that their sexual relationship is not only to her liking, but her idea in the first place.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    One of this weeks assignments for my Brit Lit class. Not a story/verse I would have normally read but it was really enjoyable. It is another story to add to the Arthurian legends, the story of the knight Lanval and the Fairie he fell in love with. Listed as a romance from the time it was published, it still fits with how we define the genre today. If you enjoy stories of Arthur and his Knights or want to see how Romances started I suggest checking this out. Originally written in French, it has b One of this weeks assignments for my Brit Lit class. Not a story/verse I would have normally read but it was really enjoyable. It is another story to add to the Arthurian legends, the story of the knight Lanval and the Fairie he fell in love with. Listed as a romance from the time it was published, it still fits with how we define the genre today. If you enjoy stories of Arthur and his Knights or want to see how Romances started I suggest checking this out. Originally written in French, it has been translated many times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    Marie De France, I have a crush on you woman. Lanval is a magical piece of work, it seems that I will be writing on Lanval in my thesis, mostly to discuss the fae interactions within the text. If you like short, fun and repetitive stories (as many Arthurian legends were) you will enjoy this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    It's good, but it's best read with someone who can explain it to you.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Rose Blaney

    i liked how de france plays with men and women's roles... interesting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniela

    Lanval, a small pretty book, is quite interesting, actually. It follows a simple structure: boy meets girl, girl is a fairy with conditions, boy doesn’t follow conditions because he’s threatened by the queen, fairy girl rushes in to save him. But it is set as an Arthurian knight: Lanval is the greatest, most interesting and nicest being on the planet but! no! one! recognizes! his! worth! Lanval as a character is almost like if you put a Mary Sue and an Emo in a blender. It is *hilarous* how he m Lanval, a small pretty book, is quite interesting, actually. It follows a simple structure: boy meets girl, girl is a fairy with conditions, boy doesn’t follow conditions because he’s threatened by the queen, fairy girl rushes in to save him. But it is set as an Arthurian knight: Lanval is the greatest, most interesting and nicest being on the planet but! no! one! recognizes! his! worth! Lanval as a character is almost like if you put a Mary Sue and an Emo in a blender. It is *hilarous* how he mopes around after breaking his deal with his fairy sugar mama. His friends have to actually check if he ate or drank water because the drama fest is too strong. I had a blast reading about him, even if there were problematic bits. But besides from that, he is not more of a character. Why was it called Lanval, again? What bothered me the most was this awful trope of the wife who seduces the hero but blames him as a rape attempt. Of course paragon Lanval wouldn’t do such a thing and Guinivere is *evil* because she wanted to commit adultery and is now convicting an innocent man. It is a trope that exists everywhere in fiction but not a lot in reality. Are men so afraid of this happening that they write about it over and over again? Or is it a mustache-twirling trope to discredit women and victim-blame them so hard that no one believes them after they are actually assaulted? (For the record, I know it is wrong to put one’s current social issues into a medieval poem, but sue me. I cannot believe this is a trope as ancient as this. And I know it was written by a woman but I digress.) Nevertheless, I liked this poem. My translation (it’s different from this but a valid source I swear) is pretty and has great rhymes that do not feel forced (which is something we take for granted). Also, it was interesting to see women take power, even if it is as *evil seductresses*, because, like I said earlier, Lanval is not much of a character. But the two ladies fighting for him should just kiss already with all that beautiful characterization and defiance of the Courtly Love Code. Also, there are certain sexual motives that peek through and are referred to by the editor and that was also very fun. It felt like opening a window into the courtly love society, with its paragon knights, fairies and romantic misadventures. . (Note to myself: when did the terms of endearment come around?)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nicole-Rose

    I've always been interested in the enigmatic Marie de France. We don't exactly know who she was, though it is possible that she was a bastard daughter of Geoffrey le Bel, and therefore half-sister to Henry II of England. I like to think she was, though I feel if she was an illegitimate sibling of Henry's we would have more evidence for it. I'm really not sure how this poem is supposed to be read. The first time I read it, I thought Lanval was fabricating the fact that he already had a lover to p I've always been interested in the enigmatic Marie de France. We don't exactly know who she was, though it is possible that she was a bastard daughter of Geoffrey le Bel, and therefore half-sister to Henry II of England. I like to think she was, though I feel if she was an illegitimate sibling of Henry's we would have more evidence for it. I'm really not sure how this poem is supposed to be read. The first time I read it, I thought Lanval was fabricating the fact that he already had a lover to punish the queen for accusing him of being gay for not continuing their affair. Furthermore, that the maidens that enter the court at the end was a complete coincidence and Lanval had really never seen them before in his life. I mean, this reading of the text isn't impossible but it's highly unlikely. Certainly makes for a more comedic poem though.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Van Vleet

    Very cute little story.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Angelika

    I had to read it for school and really didn't care about it :/

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Good, however there was not many details given and story was far fetched even for a fairy tale

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carson

    I also read this for my British Literature course, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly McDonough

    Read for class - World Lit, Foundations of Culture, 2018.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annalisa

    Read it for class but honestly???? Loved this??? i think im gonna write a whole fucking essay on the fairy maiden alone??

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amaranta

    i dont know if this is my favorite assigned readings for my med lit class but it was interesting, and who are you Marie de France 👀

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jocelin

    An unexpectedly enjoyable and amusing read. The little quirks of French medieval romance give a lovely little fairytale-ish experience, but there was also a greatly interesting dynamic between male and female, as well as subtle criticism of a justice system driven by hierarchy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mal

    Any Arthurian legend has got to be better than the Canterbury Tales. Right? Right? Right. Lanval is, in my opinion, one of the good ones (:

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Schulz

    Lanval by Marie de France is probably one of my favorite stories. The story depicts chivalric romance as well as courtly love. Lanval meets a supernatural fairy queen and, as a knight typically does, has sex with her. He is told to tell no one of their romance, but alas, he is human and eventually lets it slip and is dragged away to court for insulting Queen Guinevere. From the writer's perspective, I think Marie de France wanted to show that not all knightly tales were about heroism and quests. Lanval by Marie de France is probably one of my favorite stories. The story depicts chivalric romance as well as courtly love. Lanval meets a supernatural fairy queen and, as a knight typically does, has sex with her. He is told to tell no one of their romance, but alas, he is human and eventually lets it slip and is dragged away to court for insulting Queen Guinevere. From the writer's perspective, I think Marie de France wanted to show that not all knightly tales were about heroism and quests. Her story was simply of a knight smitten by the love of a supernatural fairy queen and what he would do for love.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Isabella

    Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars An interesting read which I picked up for my British Literature class. It contained almost a contemporary sort of narrative with dramatics that we all love to watch on TV or read in magazines nowadays. Of course, over anything, I appreciated the ending; it challenged the idea that a woman saving a man would negatively affect his masculinity. Lanval's Lady dominated the normality of only men attending to women. It opened up a realm of possibility in a closed-minded age tha Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars An interesting read which I picked up for my British Literature class. It contained almost a contemporary sort of narrative with dramatics that we all love to watch on TV or read in magazines nowadays. Of course, over anything, I appreciated the ending; it challenged the idea that a woman saving a man would negatively affect his masculinity. Lanval's Lady dominated the normality of only men attending to women. It opened up a realm of possibility in a closed-minded age that women's capabilities were much greater than expected.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    This was one of the less enjoyable stories that we read for my course on Arthurian Legend and Literature. Unlike most of the other authors that we read, Marie de France didn't aim to impart any sort of morality in this short tale here. Lanval is actually rewarded with a reputation, despite a little blip of a struggle, after he breaks his earlier promise. For me, it just didn't hold up to the level of the larger tradition.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Hattrick

    I read this book in English, and it was mostly okay, but I did not really like the characters. Lanval only has a few good things going for him, like his generosity and his honesty, yet still gets a "fairy" tale ending. The base of the story is the immoral act he commits (over and over). Overall, it was entertaining, but it taught me nothing (except maybe the kind of woman I do NOT want to be) and had no eternal value.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Autumn

    I had to read this for my world literature class. I thought it was silly and cute, and maybe took ten minutes to read. It's a typical Arthurian tale; much like any that you'd read in Le Morte De Arthur, but it's focus is romance rather than heroism. It was silly and bizarre at times, and all you could do was roll your eyes and think, "really?"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shelbi

    I feel like this story didn't have very much content. A man falls in love, but can't tell anyone or she won't love anymore. He accidentally says something to the queen and Lanvall gets in trouble so it is up to the woman to save Lanvall. Not m favorite, but interesting all the same.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The rhyming couplets were refreshing, although I'm a bit confused as to why the king was more upset that Lanval dissed his queen than the fact that his queen wanted to become a mistress...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Elise

    Read for British Lit. I liked the gender roles and the basic romance structure. And that's about it :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Risley

    I wounder if there is lay on this story.

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