The aim of this doctoral project is to study the unique case of adaptation of a comic plot among the attested Translated Riddarasögur, both in comparison with its French source and as an autonomous product of the target culture in which the translation was done. The Riddarasaga at issue is known as Möttuls saga and it is the Norse amplified translation of the fabliau Le mantel mautaillié, a parody of the Arthurian literature. The research will also include the two later products of the transmission of such texts: the Skikkju rímur, which are the Icelandic late-medieval verse adaptation of the saga, and the French mise en prose of the fabliau which dates back to the Renaissance.
Although most of the Translated Riddarasögur were probably done in Norway in the thirteenth century, the manuscripts in which we can read them today are all Icelandic and date back to the fourteenth – fifteenth century, or even later. This fact raises at least one main philological question we must deal with: what, in the texts, is attributable to the translators? And what to the Icelandic copyists? This research will combine a philological study based on the critical editions and the manuscript tradition of the texts with the descriptive perspective of Even-Zohar’s polysystem theory. This theory will be useful for relating the Möttuls saga with the other Translated Riddarasögur, and to better understand in which way Northern countries such as Norway and Iceland assimilated and integrated the French courtly literature in their own literary system.