Definitions for fabliauˈfæb liˌoʊ; -liˌoʊz, -liˌoʊ
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The genre of short, farcical often coarse tales written in the North of France in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries.
Origin: fabliau, diminutive of fable
one of the metrical tales of the Trouveres, or early poets of the north of France
Origin: [F., fr. OF.fablel, dim. of fable a fable.]
A fabliau is a comic, often anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France between ca. 1150 and 1400. They are generally characterized by an excessiveness of sexual and scatological obscenity. Several of them were reworked by Giovanni Boccaccio for the Decameron and by Geoffrey Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales. Some 150 French fabliaux are extant, the number depending on how narrowly fabliau is defined. According to R. Howard Bloch, fabliaux are the first expression of literary realism in Europe. Fabliaux originally come from the Orient and were brought to the West by returning crusaders; from fabliaux comes the French drama.
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