Malory's Sources

        Some Medieval authors take a single source and translate or transform it into their own version of the same work.  Others, more adventurous or devious, take multiple sources and combine them to produce a hybrid construction made of elements of all the sources fused together.  Malory may have begun s the former kind of author and gradually developed into the latter.  For this reason, his initial intentions for his work may have changed significantly over the years he spent writing.  The sheer number and diversity of sources upon which he drew suggest that, ultimately, he was pursuing a very complex agenda.  If we look at the major narrative units he composed, leaving aside for the moment whether they are independent "works" (Vinaver) or a unified single "work" (Lumiansky, et al.), it becomes obvious that we can distinguish between narrative units with one source, narrative units with multiple sources, and narrative units with no identified source.