The trappings and trimmings: clothes, food, and decoration in Herra Ivan
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
In translating and adapting Chrétien’s Yvain for the Swedish court and nobility, the author seems to have been aiming at presenting an ideal to be imported. Thomas Småberg has pointed out that the author wanted to introduce models for behaviour by portraying courtly manners, feasts, and battles, including scenes that are not present in the original (Småberg 212, 209). I would here like to look at how the text depicts the outer markings of aristocracy: elegant clothes made from expensive fabrics, fancy dining, and the usage of fabrics in furnishing homes.
It is of course dangerous to put too much weight on the minor differences between the texts, even though Sofia Lodén has shown that ”the French romance was the Swedish translator’s main source text and that the saga served as occasional support” (Lodén 283). Nevertheless, the author was not adverse to excluding parts he found uninteresting (like the flirtatious conversation between Laudine and Yvain on their first meeting) so it seems fair to assume that the relevant parts of the text, even if translated directly, contain subjects and depictions the author made a conscious choice to retain.
The text is strongly concerned with the fabrics used by the characters, for clothing and for decoration. Here the author often expands on the original, and also tends to define the materials used as expensive and rich (kostelik, rik, dyr) – while the terms have the wider meaning of ’valuable, spendid’ they are also closely associated with the amount of money one would have to pay for the item in question. In this paper, I will discuss how the outer markings of aristocracy are presented and used to define the correct and courtly lifestyle for a nobleman in 14th century Sweden.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Arthur, Haerra Ivan, textile history, Scandinavian medieval literature
Languages and Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-33551OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-33551DiVA: diva2:1081481
Arthur entre Nord et Sud, Paris, 6-7 December, 2016