By Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet
Is it valid to conceive of and write a historical past of medieval French literature while the time period "literature" as we all know it at the present time didn't look till the very finish of the center a while? during this novel creation to French literature of the interval, Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet says sure, arguing profound literary attention did exist on the time.
Cerquiglini-Toulet demanding situations the traditional methods of studying and comparing literature, contemplating medieval literature no longer as break away that during different eras yet as a part of the wider culture of worldwide literature. Her significant and realized readings of either canonical and lesser-known works pose an important questions about, between different issues, the concept of otherness, the that means of swap and balance, and the connection of medieval literature with theology.
Part background of literature, half theoretical feedback, this ebook reshapes the language and content material of medieval works. by means of weaving jointly issues reminiscent of the beginning of epic and lyric poetry, Latin-French bilingualism, women’s writing, grammar, authorship, and extra, Cerquiglini-Toulet does not anything under redefine either philosophical and literary techniques to medieval French literature. Her booklet is a historical past of the literary act, a historical past of phrases, a background of principles and works―monuments instead of documents―that calls into query glossy techniques of literature.
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Additional info for A New History of Medieval French Literature
Gautier de Coinci, a monk, who writes of the Miracles of the Blessed Virgin, does not want to be called a trouvère or a minstrel, if it is not, he says, of his Lady, the Virgin Mary. He defends the solemnity and the morality of his work. The jongleurs, condemned by the Church—with the exception of those who recite Lives of Saints—want to be recognized in all of their roles. A series of texts aims at showing that their service pleases God. For example, there is the beautiful tale of the Tombeor Nostre Dame, the jongleur of Our Lady who, not even knowing the Ave Maria, does somersaults in front of a statue of The Question of the Author 23 the Virgin to honor her.
The boundary between the escrivain-scribe and the escrivain-author was porous, but their statuses were different. The Materiality of Writing 19 chapter two The Question of the Author A t the opening of her Lai du Chèvrefeuille, Marie de France states that she is going to tell the truth about this lay, “Why it was composed, how and what are its origins” (Pur quei fu fez, coment e dunt). These are recognized as among the questions that make up what the Latin scholarly tradition calls the accessus ad auctores, a series of interrogations intended to facilitate the reading of the classics by explaining the life of the author, the title of the work, the intention of the writer, the subject of the book, the utility of its contents, and the branch of philosophy to which it belongs.
In the Champion des Dames, Martin le Franc, a renowned and vicious adversary of women, places two categories in opposition: “Poets have nothing but gossip in their mouths and according to their desires they tell their lying tales. Clerics must not mention their nonsense” (Poetes n’ont que baverie / Et a leur gré font ﬁction. / On ne doibt de leur jenglerie / Entre clercs faire mention; ll. 15085–15088). The Author’s Self-Awareness Authors name themselves, either in the ﬁrst or third person, and generally also state their places of birth or origin: “My name is Marie and I come from France” (Marie ai nun, si sui de France); introduce the title of the work, “Chrétien begins his book about the Knight of the Cart” (Del Chevalier de la Charrete / Comance Crestïens son livre); or mention previous works, almost as in an advertisement.
A New History of Medieval French Literature by Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet