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211 foxes and Harry Bailey alike, or pleased to taste the flavour of this make-believe world of the stars. There are excellent illustrations, but the publishers ought to have insisted on an index of personal names as well as the short, though handy, index of terms. As it is, first Progression through these pages is easy. Retrogression, in search of some particular amusing or illuminating comment or quotation, can be tiresome. Alison Hanham Department of History Massey University Marcel Tetel, Lectures Sceviennes: L'embleme et les mots, Paris, Klincksieck, 1983, pp. 173. The emblems contained in Maurice Serve's Delie, even while having the appearance of important divisional markers, have nevertheless eluded the sustained critical analysis that their position seems to warrant. Critics have invariably recognised the need for a consideration of them as an integral part of the total meaning of the sequence of 450 poems which comprise the canzoniere, but few have even begun to make this consideration a central issue of study: the most famous of all Sceve scholars, the late V.-L. Saulnier, recognised the potential areas of exploration that the emblems represent, but ultimately only skirted round the problem, and I.D. McFarlane, the definitive editor of the Delie, points out that the original Privilege made provision for the Delie to be published with or without the emblems, and asserts that it is difficult to give satisfactory answers to such questions as their significance, their placement and whether Sceve devised his own emblems. McFarlane concludes, "The connection between emblem and text is a fluctuating affair, and the series of pictures fit the text rather as a loose cover does a chair. They give the book a pleasant presentation of some of the thematic material, certainly, they also give an impression of external structure and they serve to 'air' the text. They are often highly relevant to specific dizains, and help to condition the reader's response in those cases, but they have a circumscribed role to play, and one must also admit that some of the finest dizains are totally independent of the emblem series". Marcel Tetel's book is more than anything a refutation of this view. It is a semiological study of the sequence in which, as the title suggests, the emblems and their accompanying mottoes are given full weight as progenitors of meaning, pattern and semantic complexity. Tetel sees the emblems acting "globally", providing a necessary sub-text to each neuvaine (each emblem except the final one, no. 50, introduces a set of nine dizains) which articulates the 212 spirit of that neuvaine and which then reverberates throughout the whole sequence, supporting and elaborating on the Delian themes of doubt, anguish, renewal, submission, the will, solitude, work. He stresses the organic unity of each neuvaine in which the emblem is a reductive source and synthesis of the semantic possibilities of the following nine dizains and the signpost towards further semantic richness within the sequence. Rather than leading to obscurity or hermetism, the complexity of the intra- and intertextuality (within the neuvaine and within the sequence) reveals Sceve's firm position within a continuing literary tradition and, more importantly, the extent of his invention, in the sixteenth-century sense outlined by Castor. Tetel's usual method is to begin with a particular emblem, to elaborate on the associative resonances of both the drawing and the motto within the neuvaine, drawing on literary, philosophical, mythological and political sources and on the punning and anagrammatical possibilities within particular words; he then draws a conclusion from this exploration both about the poet's methods and about his poetic concerns, and reinforces the conclusion by reference back to other emblems and their associated neuvaines. The emblems, then, are a means to an exciting and thorough reading of Sceve which stresses the well documented contraries in the Delie: Tetel's separate chapters deal with light in darkness, the bitterness of love, attraction and submission, and the necessity for solitude and therefore absence from the loved one in order to create. Jealousy is, in Tetel's words, une medaille a deux faces, for, without it, the impetus to write would be lacking; success in love would mean the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1832-8334
Print ISSN
0313-6221
Pages
pp. 211-213
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-03
Open Access
No
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