Poetry, Knowledge and Community in Late Medieval France

November 2008
4 black and white, 2 line illustrations
266 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843841777
Format: Hardback
Library eBook

Poetry, Knowledge and Community in Late Medieval France

Edited by Rebecca Dixon, Finn E. Sinclair, Adrian Armstrong, Sylvia Huot and Sarah Kay

The role of poetry in the transmission and shaping of knowledge in late medieval France.
Covering the period from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth century, Poetry, Knowledge, and Community examines the role of poetry in French culture in transmitting and shaping knowledge. The volume reveals the interplay between poet, text, and audience, and explores the key dynamics of later medieval French poetry and of the communities in which it was produced.
Essays in both English and French are organised into three inter-related sections, "Learned Poetry/ Poetry and Learning", "Poetry or Prose?", and "Poetic Communities", and address both canonical and less well-known French and Occitan verse literature, together with a wide range of complementary subject areas. The international cast of contributors to the volume includes many of the best-known scholars in the field: the introductory essay is by Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet (Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne), and keynote essays are provided by David F. Hult (University of California, Berkeley), Michel Zink (Collège de France), and Nancy Freeman Regalado (New York University).

Edited by REBECCA DIXON (University of Manchester) and FINN E. SINCLAIR (University of Cambridge), with Adrian Armstrong (University of Manchester), Sylvia Huot (University of Cambridge), and Sarah Kay (University of Princeton).

CONTRIBUTORS: Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Mishtooni Bose, Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, Rebecca Dixon, Thelma Fenster, Denis Hüe, David Hult, Stephanie Kamath, Deborah McGrady, Amandine Mussou, Nancy Freeman Regalado, Jennifer Saltzstein, Finn E. Sinclair, Lori J. Walters, David Wrisley, Michel Zink

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Table of Contents

Preface - Finn E. Sinclair
Introduction: L'Amour de Sophie. Poesie et savoir du Roman de la Rose a Christine de Pizan - Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet
Poetry and the Translation of Knowledge in Jean de Meun - David Hult
Apprendre a jouer? Fonctions de la partie d'echecs des Esches amoureux - Amandine Mussou
Jean Gerson, Poet - Mishtooni Bose
Gerson and Christine, Poets - Lori J. Walters
Les Razos et l'idee de la poesie - Michel Zink
A Master, a Vilain, a Lady and a Scribe: Competing for Authority in a Late Medieval Translation of the Ars amatoriaamatoria - Deborah McGrady
Deversifying Knowledge: The Poetic Alphabet of the Prose Pelerinage de la vie humaine - Stephanie Kamath
Prosifying Lyric Insertions in the Fifteenth-Century Violette [Gerard de Nevers] - David Wrisley
The Movement from Verse to Prose in the Allegories of Christine de Pizan - Suzanne Conklin Akbari
The Songs of Jehannot de Lescurel in Paris, BnF MS fr. 146: Love Lyrics, Moral Wisdom and the Material Book - Nancy Freeman Regalado
Refrains in the Jeu de Robin et Marion: History of a Citation - Jennifer Saltzstein
Le prince chez Meschinot, mise en forme d'un objet poetique/ politique - Denis Hue
` - Thelma Fenster
Conclusion: Knowing Poetry, Knowing Communities - Rebecca Dixon


This coherent and innovative collection of essays explores the development of the role of poetry as a vehicle for disseminating knowledge and creating community at a time when, paradoxically, prose was very much in the ascendant as the preferred literary form. MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
This volume of essays . beautifully incarnates the very topics it takes as guiding threads to explore a wide variety of literary examples and expressions from the late thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. [...] This volume will no doubt continue to help revitalize interest in a period that has sometimes been seen as the neglected stepsister of the high Middle Ages and has now begun to take its rightful place in the history of French letters. SPECULUM
Taken as a whole, this volume supplies an assortment of knowledgeable studies, and several chapters are strongly innovative. H-FRANCE REVIEW
Thirteen essays, all lucidly written (ten in English, three in French), are characterised by acute textual analysis, sensitive consideration of literary form, and perspicacious examination of the material context of manuscript production and transmission. FRENCH STUDIES
This tremendously rich and exciting volume, stemming from the AHRC 'Poetic Knowledge in Late Medieval France' project, compellingly fulfils its aim to establish 'the significant role played by poetry [...] in the culture of knowledge of late medieval France'. [...] This exemplary volume greatly expands and enriches scholarly horizons on the role of poetry in late medieval France. FRENCH STUDIES
The thirteen essays in this volume provide a coherent and interesting overview of the rôle of knowledge and community in late medieval French poetic production, and will be welcomed by all working in the field as a valuable contribution to this growing area of scholarship. OENACH 1.1

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