Faire Ladies Re-Imagined: Female Characters in Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne. Published at www.academia.edu
Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, Bialystok University, Department of Philology, Faculty Member.
Abstract: This essay aims to examine the construction of female characters in Guy Gavriel Kay’s medievalist fantasy novel A Song for Arbonne. By setting the narrative against the context of courtly love, chivalric romance and portal-quest fantasy, it is analysed how Kay ingeniously transforms both the medieval intellectual heritage and conventions of fantasy novel to produce a surprisingly women-centred text, in which female characters are neither warrior-like Brynhildr types that assume the position of men nor passive ladies around whom the action revolves. It is also argued that A Song for Arbonne, a blended history-fantasy novel, is a vehicle for the reinterpretation of historical, cultural and literary heritage from a different, more dialogic perspective and can be seen as a tribute to the forgotten or ignored female voice of the past.