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“Vez ci au feu la grasse oie!”

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Abstract

Food and drink play many different roles in the art of the fabliaux, ranging from more or less brief depictions of everyday hospitality to significant contributions to plot and especially to trickery. This article focuses primarily on Le Prestre et Alison, comparing its techniques with those of some other fabliaux. The language of food functions on several levels in this fabliau: it is a means of characterisation, a sign of status and power, and a narrative motif whereby power relations are first established and then subverted. Roast goose in particular, along with fish, capons and spices, provides echoes and associations both within and beyond the text, and forms a focus for the shifting relations as a powerful man is outwitted by women who trade in foodstuffs. As the analysis proceeds it becomes evident that this fabliau has been undervalued.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2018

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