How can we uncover the traces of oral culture in medieval sources when the oral matter we possess survives only in written form? Is it the case that only the written persists while the oral is lost? What was the status of orality in medieval society? The studies in this volume (four chapters in French and two in English) examine the links between the oral and the written traditions in medieval literature. They do this by means of analysis of literary sources from diverse backgrounds, both geographically and linguistically speaking: the investigation ranges from medieval Spain, through the Byzantine Empire and the Crusader states, to the late medieval and early modern Turkey. This interdisciplinary enquiry by an international group of scholars enables us to define the modes of transmission of medieval texts and how they were memorized as well as to decipher how they were read and appropriated. In addition, the book suggests a methodological basis for research and into indices of orality and for analysis of the intertextual links between literary works. This enquiry, undertaken within the framework f the international Homo legens project, provides an efficacious tool for the study of the practices of reading and writing.
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