Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 5369
  • Author(s)/Creator(s):
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Too Many Women: Reading Freud, Derrida, and Lancelot
  • Source: Seeing Gender: Perspectives on Medieval Gender and Sexuality. Gender and Medieval Studies Conference, King's College, London, January 4-6, 2002.. 2002.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Conference Paper Abstract
  • Subject (See Also): Derrida, Jacques, Literary Critic (1930-2004) Lancelot en Prose, Romance Psychoanalytic Theory Women in Literature
  • Geographic Area: France
  • Century: 13
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence:
  • Illustrations:
  • Table:
  • Abstract: This paper explores two problems of the manuscript tradition of the Prose Lancelot in the light of Derrida’s reading of the resistance encountered and constructed by psychoanalysis. Two places at which Lancelot manuscripts vary widely, causing much critical debate as to the status of the original text, are marked by the similarity and duplication of women: the episode of the false Guenevere, and a comparison of the three most beautiful women in Arthur’s kingdom. Derrida reads, in Résistances de la psychanalyse, an account of Freud’s dream in which Freud conflates three women and identifies them with an apparently insurmountable resistance to his interpretative strategies. The limits to reading are gendered feminine in both these instances, as women mark a place of unknowability, where too much meaning collides with the refusal of interpretation. Characters and critics of the Lancelot, as well as Freud, veer between scrutinising these women for visible signs of their identity and constructing them as blind spots to the process of reading. Derrida’s reading raises issues pertinent to the Lancelot: the text, and its female characters, cannot be reduced to one answer, but are plural, demanding a closer look, yet defying the gaze which seeks a singular corpus. [Reproduced by permission of the Gender and Medieval Studies Conference Organizers].
  • Author's Affiliation:
  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2002.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: Not Available
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: