Virgilian Identities in the French Renaissance

Virgilian Identities in the French Renaissance

Edited by Phillip John Usher, Isabelle Fernbach





New interpretations of the ways in which early modern French literature was influenced by, and responded to, the works of Virgil.
Virgil's works, principally the Bucolics, the Georgics, and above all the Aeneid, were frequently read, translated and rewritten by authors of the French Renaissance. The contributors to this volume show how readers and writers entered into a dialogue with the texts, using them to grapple with such difficult questions as authorial, political and communitarian identities. Rather than simply imitating them, the writers are shown as vibrantly engaging with them, in a "conversation" central to the definition of literature at the time.
In addition to discussing how Virgil influenced questions of identity for such authors as Jean Lemaire de Belges, Joachim du Bellay, Clément Marot, Pierre de Ronsard and Jacques Yver, the volume also offers perspectives on Virgil's French translators, on how French writers made quite different appropriations of Homer and Virgil, and on Virgil's reception in the arts. It provides a fresh understanding and assessment of how, in sixteenth-century France, Virgil and his texts moved beyond earlier allegorical interpretations to enter into the ideas espoused by a new and national literature.

Phillip John Usher is Assistant Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Barnard College, Columbia University; Isabelle Fernbach is Assistant Professor of French at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Contributors: Timothy Hampton, Bernd Renner, Margaret Harp, Michael Randall, Stéphanie Lecompte, Isabelle Fernbach, Valerie Worth-Stylianou, Philip Ford, Phillip John Usher, Corinne Noirot-Maguire, Todd W. Reeser, Katherine Maynard

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July 2012
9 black and white illustrations
278 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843843177
Format: Hardback
BISAC LIT019000, LIT004150
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Table of Contents

Foreword - Timothy Hampton
Introduction - Phillip John Usher and Isabelle Fernbach
Virgil and Marot: Imitation, Satire and Personal Identity - Bernd Renner
Virgil's Bucolic Legacy in Jacques Yver's Le Printemps d'Yver - Margaret Harp
On the Magical Statues in Lemaire de Belge's Le Temple d'honneur et de vertus - Michael Randall
Temples of Virtue: Worshipping Virgil in Sixteenth-Century France (translated by Penelope Meyers) - Stephanie Lecompte
From Copy to Copia: Imitation and Authorship in Joachim du Bellay's Divers Jeux Rustiques(1558) - Isabelle Fernbach
Virgilian Space in Renaissance French Translations of the Aeneid - Valerie Worth-Stylianou
Virgil versusHomer: Reception, Imitation and Identity in the French Renaissance - Philip Ford
The Aeneid in the 1530s: Reading with the Limoges Enamels - Phillip John Usher
At the Helm, Second in Command: Du Bellay and La Mort de Palinure - Corinne Noirot-Maguire
Du Bellay's Dido and the Translation of Nation - Todd Reeser
"Avec la terre on possède la guerre": The Problem of Place in Ronsard's Franciade - Katherine Maynard


Taken together, the essays of this volume profoundly illuminate the important place Virgil occupied in the literary landscape of sixteenth-century France. . . . Since the papers presented in this collection move fluidly through a range of disciplines such as the visual arts, translation, and history, the collection will be of particular interest to a wide range of scholars focused on translation, classical influences in the French Renaissance, and cross-disciplinary approaches to literature. COMPARATIVE LITERATURE STUDIES

Raises important questions about Virgilian influence in Renaissance France while opening potential avenues for future exploration. FRENCH STUDIES

[A] beautifully produced [and] illustrated volume [...] The volume and series editors are to be congratulated for an achievement that will, we may hope, encourage Virgilians to investigate more closely the literary and artistic treasures of the le moyen français. BRYN MAWR CLASSICAL REVIEW

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