My Doctoral Dissertation on Perceval, or The Story of the Grail
Some readers have asked about my doctoral dissertation, which is called Remembering God: The Function of Memory in Chrétien de Troyes’ Conte del Graal (the Conte del Graal is better known in English as The Story of the Grail or Perceval). Although it is available elsewhere to read online, the access is somewhat cumbersome, so I thought I would make it available here for easy download. Some of the ideas I’ll be discussing here on the blog had their genesis in my dissertation research; when I re-read parts of the dissertation for the first time in more than a decade, I was surprised to see just how many of my ideas about pre-modern reading habits and expectations, and the influence of Sacred Scripture on ordinary, “profane” literature, have sprouted from seeds first planted in my mind while I was writing this dissertation.
If you would like to read Chrétien’s romance, Perceval or The Story of the Grail, there are some fine modern translations available. Be careful, though–Chrétien’s story, the original tale of the Grail, spawned many retellings, most of which are wildly different than the original, and almost all of which bear titles that refer to the “Holy” Grail, which is not what Chrétien called it. The only out-of-copyright (free) version I found available to be downloaded or read online is here on the Internet Archive.
N. B. The dissertation file is intended for reading only: printing, file conversion or extraction, editing, and any other kind of appropriation or manipulation of the text has been disabled.