L’énigme incarnée: Méliot de Logres dans le Haut Livre du Gral

  • Jean-Francois Poisson-Gueffier


The High Book of the Grail, also known as Perlesvaus, after its main character, an analogon of Perceval who evolves in a universe of blood and violence, is a French Arthurian prose romance of the 13th century. The principle of imperfection on which this romance is set encompasses its narrative composition, the consistency of its allegorical meaning, and the poetics of character. Meliot de Logres can be called an énigme incarnée, as its representation does not tend towards unity, but towards destruction. He is an enigma because of its numerous narrative functions (alter Christus, a man in distress, knight ...), and its symbolical power (he is ‘de Logres’, which suggests a moral signification, he embodies spiritual greatness that the romance does not develop). The semiological analysis of this secondary but important character is a way to understand the many problems aroused by the scripture of the High Book of the Grail. Meliot is not only a double: through him, we can see the complexity and intricacy of the romance as a whole.