Mary Zambreno: The Protold Story In The Arthurian Legend

1547 Words7 Pages
In this essay, I will not offer an explanation of why people keep retelling, appropriating, and adding to Arthurian legend, because such an answer is far beyond the scope of my knowledge and the size of this essay. It would take at least one penetrating book to begin understanding the scope of that question—which is the reason why Mary Zambreno’s article, “Why Do Some Stories Keep Returning?,” is crippled by its length and loses its grounding by using vague, generalizing definitions to discuss the perpetuity of Arthurian narrative. By opening up Zambreno’s term “gap” and applying possible variations of the term to the context of Chretien’s Lancelot, Knight of the Cart, I hope to introduce the possibility of further scholarship on the ways untold stories in the Arthurian narrative contribute to its continuing popularity as a story to tell and a story to read. Zambreno offers a very confused introduction to her discussion of gaps and what she terms “literary confabulation” in the Arthurian legend. She calls upon a term introduced in another author’s discussion of Malory: Arthurian narrative as “piecemeal” is taken out of its context in W.R.J. Barron’s discussion of “Malory’s possible thematic unity,” and used as the base of Zambreno’s thesis. Zambreno does not give any defense to her categorization of Arthurian legend as piecemeal—in fact, she contradicts the classification when she claims to be interested in the existence of “a narrative tradition of intertwined tales” (119).
Open Document