Temps, memoire et monstres: le monde arthurien de Culhwch et Olwen
Le Saux, F. (2011) Temps, memoire et monstres: le monde arthurien de Culhwch et Olwen. In: Girbea, C., Popescu, A. and Voicu, M. (eds.) Temps et memoire dans la litterature arthurienne. Medievalia (2). Editura universatii bucuresti, Bucarest, pp. 282-289.
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The Arthurian world of Culhwch and Olwen initially appears as a resolutely masculine, warrior-based society with little or no place for women. As a rule, the names of the mothers of the many characters remain unmentioned, and even the young hero clearly had no idea of his family ties on his mother’s side. It comes as news to him that Arthur is his cousin. The Arthurian world is equally afflicted with a form of wilful amnesia of the existence of relatives on the distaff side, allowing the giant Ysbaddaden to victimise Custennin and his family with impunity. The hair-cutting ritual represents an intrusion of female memory and a reminder of the biological imperative of reproduction, which means that in order to survive, Arthur’s clan has to be prepared to face destruction.
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