, Volume 98, Issue 2, pp 193–204 | Cite as

Finding Avalon: The Place and Meaning of the Otherworld in Marie de France’s Lanval

  • Cassidy Leventhal


The brunt of scholarship on Marie de France’s Lanval portrays Lanval’s fantastical “Otherworld” as “utopic” in the term’s oldest sense: it is a world that has “no place.” Such scholarship severs the linkage of Otherworld and reality indicated by the lai; the relationship between earth and Avalon, in which one achieves the other, is dis-placed for a simple and disjointed “multivalence of reality” (Hodgson 23). This article discusses Lanval’s Otherworld/Avalon using Anne Wilson’s psychoanalytic approach to a fantastical text “as if the text were a human subject.” Through this approach, this article hopes to reclaim the latent, universal significance of the notion of “Otherworld.”


Marie de France Lanval Breton lai Otherworld Fantasy Magic Psychoanalytic Realism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Barnard CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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