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HUMANITIES 425 and who [made] people laugh' (p 26). Paradoxically, it was the same bourgeois world that later lost interest in the comic portrayal of servants (p 151), preferring instead to locus attention on the problems of married life in such 'poSt-F bourgeois family play[sl' (p 154) as Florian's Bon menage. Marivaux is given a major innovative role in the move away from F. In such 'non-F' plays as La Surprise de I'amour, he moved the category of the Old, and 'individualized' the Young by changing 'the nature of the obstacle [to their loves] from external to internal' (p 119). It is particularly at this point that the limits of F become clear, for Greene considers a departure from the Old as a move away from the formula. Harold C. Knutson on the other hand, in Moliere: An Archetypal Appmach (University of Toronto Press, 1976), tries to expand the limits. By using the notion of romance, he integrates within his formula such apparently a-typical Molieresque plays as La Princesse d' Elide in which 'the primary dynamism departs from the familiar eiron-alazon contest to dwell on the trials of young love caught up in its own complications' (p 122). In his preface Greene makes the following statement: 'wHh respect to Marivaux, I have considered his comedies only in relation to F. For a fuller treatment by me of his plays, I refer the reader to my Marivaux' (p viii). It is regrettable that the selective approach used for Marivaux's plays has not also been applied to the other material in the book, for the 'fuller treatment' accorded to non-Marivaux plays must be considered as the major flaw in an otherwise valuable study. Details such as the discussion of the staging of Cyrano de Bergerac's Pedant joue by the Cercle Fran,ais of Harvard University in 1899 are not placed 'in relation to F: and therefore tend to distract from the history of a comic structure which Menander to Marivaux is intended to offer. Conversely, the pages devoted to Marivaux's original use of F are among the most effective in the book by virtue of the stress they place on the formula. (DAVID A. TROIT) Devinettes fran~ajses du Moyen Age. Edih~es par Bruno Roy Cahiers d'Etudes medievales. Bellarmin/Vrin. 217. ~·95 Cet ouvrage, publie souS la direction de I'Institut d'Etudes medievales de I'Universite de Montreal, nous presente pres de 600 'advenailles et demandes joyeuses,' au devinettes pour rire. Le genre n'etait certes pas inconnu des medievistes, mais on etait loin d'en saupc;onner la popularite et I'etendue. L'editeur souligne que son edition ne vise pas a remplacer celie de J.W. Hassell, Jr, parue en 1974 et qui a ete con,ue d'abord pour les folkloristes; il s'adresse plutot aux historiens de la litterature, en offrant dans une edition 'amelioree et stabilisee' un corpus 426 LETTERS IN CANADA 1977 'aussi complet que possible des devinettes fran,aises ayant circule en recueils ala fin du Moyen Age: II existe au moins quatre recueils distincts de devinettes, dont Ie plus ancien, conserve dans un manuscrit du Musee Conde aChantilly qui provient probablement de Gand ou de Bruges, date des environs de 1470. Le texte contient plusieurs autres recueils de genres apparentes a la devinette, rnais c'est l'edition complete des 510 devinettes qui constitue la partie la plus importante de I'oeuvre de M. Roy, qu'il a completee par l'addition des unica des trois autres recueils: un manuscrit de la fin du xve siecle, d'origine probablement gantoise; un recueil conserve dans deux incunables imprimes aBruges en 1479 et 1491: et un autre recueil de la fin du xv' sieele connu par sept editions sorties entre 1498 et 1620. Roy definit la devinette comme un 'jeu agressif: et en voit la description dans Ie titre que porte un des recueils qu'il a utilises: 'demandes joyeuses en forme de quolibets: Malgre Ie jeu entre locuteur et interlocuteur , la devinette n'est pas un vrai dialogue, puisque l'interlocuteur ne doit pas trouver la bonne reponse, et la frustration...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 425-427
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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