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Comme Ie soulignent P. Leon et P. Perron dans I'Avant-propos, cet ouvrage refiete 'I'etat de la recherche sur la question du dialogue a l'automne 1982' (p 4). Depuis lors, les recherches dans Ie domaine ont evolue rapidement, ce qui risque de diminuer aux yeux du lecteur, malheureusement, I'importance ainsi que I'originalite des etudes reunies ici par Leon et Perron. Aussi importe-t-il de souligner Ie double merite de cet ouvrage. D'une part, il presente un excellent aperc;u des champs qui ont servi de point de depart a I'elaboration de nouvelles theories semiotiques du fonctionnement dialogique de la communication, et contribue ainsi a mieux faire ressortir I'evolution des recherches dans ce domaine. D'autre part, il garde un tres grand interet theorique tant par la qualM des divers concepts et oppositions presentes (dialogue vsl conversation, comportement referentiel vsl comportement modalisateur, recevabilite vsl acceptabilite) que par la tentative des auteurs 'a harmoniser les niveaux de la theorie et de la methode d'investigation' (p 4). (AGNES WHITFIELD) Ann Moss. Poetry and Fable: Studies in Mythological Narrative in Sixteenth-Century France Cambridge University Press '984. viii, 184, illus. $39.50 In this well-written and amply documented study, which combines accurate historical scholarship with some of the more recent techniques of reader-response criticism, Ann Moss, while concentrating on the particular tradition she labels the 'mythological narrative,' reveals to us some of the more significant changes taking place in the wider context of Renaissance literary aesthetics as well as in the relations between literature and the nature of truth. Beginning with a detailed critical analysis of selected passages in the late medieval Bible des poetes, which was based on the fourteenth-century Ovide moralise and was later revised for publication in 1532 as Le Grand Olympe des histoires poiitiques ..., she devotes a chapter each to various writers, poets, and translators from the time ofJeanLemaire de Belges to that of the mature Pierre de Ronsard, and ends with a short epilogue dealing with minor versions of Ovidian fables in the early seventeenth century. The chief works discussed include the Bible des poetes, Lemaire's Illustrations, the Grand Olympe, several poems by Franc;ois Habert (on whom few other critics have written), the Songe de Poliphile (a French translation of Francesco Colonna's Hypnerotomachia), Barthelemy Aneau's essay 'Une preparation de voie Ii la lecture et intelligence des Poetes fabuleux,' published in the Trois premiers livres de la Metamorphose d'Ovide ... (Lyons 1556), six poemes by Jean-Antoine de Balf (with special reference to Le Meurier, ou la Fable de Pyrame et Thisbe, and his Salmaci), and Ronsard's Le Ravissement de Cephale and Le Satyre. The reader will appreciate the fact that Moss has documented her HUMANITIES 133 arguments with a number of apt and generous quotations from her primary texts, many ofwhich are available only in major research libraries. Non-specialists reading sixteenth-century French for the first time would be well advised to consult the useful comments on language given on pp 53-4 by Peter Rickard in his La Langue fran~aise au seizieme siede (Cambridge University Press 1968) and Huguet's Dictionnaire, since no translation accompanies these quotations. Moss very ably leads us through an examination, happily with no diagrams, arrows, or useless jargon, of the major shifts in habits of reading, interpreting, and composing literature that were formed in a multi-textual context during the period under study. We note first the continuing late medieval allegorizing mode which dropped its spiritual, but not moral, interpretations when applied to vernacular literature. Next, in the second or third decade of the century, we witness the growing influence of the new learning on literary practice. The humanist disciplines of philology and history, classical rhetoric and poetics, the availability of improved editions of ancient authors and all the apparatus of encyclopaedic classical learning together with a renewed interest in neo-Platonism and even paganism, all had a telling effect on readers and authors in the Renaissance. Moss draws our attention to many related factors which contributed to preparing reader response to printed texts: marginal references to other texts, marks indicating commonplaces or...


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