The perplexing question of the interrelations between hearing and sight looms large in the verse novel of the second half of the twelfth century, a newly promoted genre of literary fiction, no longer sung but written and intended for public reading in small circles, it seems, permanently shaped by the written word, yet brought to life by a fleeting voice. In what is commonly and sometimes abusively referred to as the Arthurian romance in verse of the second half of the twelfth century – the Arthurian part of Wace’s romance of Brut (in fact, a text between the chronicle and the romance in terms of style), the romances of Chrétien de Troyes, the romances of Tristan by Thomas and Béroul – the ‘soundtrack’ of the Arthurian literary world is poor: the human voice in particular, the sole focus of my study, is rarely mentioned, while discourse proliferates. For multiple reasons, above all because it is an acoustic phenomenon of physiological origin which is linked to breathing, the voice, as an undeniable vital force, seems to be stifled: this is what will be examined to start with. The paradoxes haunting the voice need to be addressed and assessed. In fact, it is as if vocality gave way to a rustle of words, both those of the characters and those of the narrative instances. A second step of the analysis will therefore consider how orality, patently obvious as it is, tends to mask the vocality of the text to draw attention to itself: if the voice, in its materiality, appears neglected, it is because it is henceforth subsumed under the spoken word. Yet, the voice is most saliently causing distinct stylistic traits or modes of writing which animate the jongleresque performance. The latter is having its heyday, since, at the turn of the thirteenth century, prose and the advent of silent reading would soon bring about a substantial change in the production and reception of fictional literary works: a third and last point will deal with how, until the book is to enjoy the prestige that the voice once possessed, the letter will not be that irreducibly separated from the very voice from which it originates. Far from being independent from each other, voice and letter converge in the same collaboration, that of the reading experience that allows us, to this day, to make these texts our own.