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REVIEWS Each volume ends with a table of proper names and a glossary of the words not understandable to the present-day average French-speaker. The first two volumes happen not to contain any source of Chaucer's fabliaux (which could be deduced from their titles), but they can now be checked by reading the detailed summaries or editions. We are looking forward to seeing the edition of fabliaux 35, Gombert et /es deus Clercs, and 80,Le Meunier et /es deus Clercs (apparently two different texts, since B and C have both: Gombert...: A,B,C, H; Le Meunier...: B,C),where we shall probably gain more information on Chaucer's source for RvT.The edition ofthe six versions with their notes will perhaps enable us to gain a clearer view of the material he used and the way he transformed it. A new edition should,ofcourse,correct the very rare misprints (e.g.,vol. 1,p. 352,line 220,lefons) and also revise Morawski's quotation (vol. 1,pp. 318, 452): according to them it represents no. 2378, Tierce foiz c'est droiz, whereas for Elisabeth Schulze-Busacker (Proverbes et expressions prover­ biales dans la litterature narrative du Mayen Agefranfazs [Paris, 1985], p. 335) it is 2379, Tierce mis paste set.... We wish a long life to the NRCF and look forward to seeing the next volumes. JULIETTE DOR Universite de Liege WILLIAMD. PADEN,JR., TILDE SANKOVITCH, and PATRICIA H. STABLEIN, eds. The Poems of the Troubadour Bertran de Born. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1986. Pp. xxii, 574. $65.00. Limited space cannot do justice to this necessary and long-awaited edition by a team ofresearchers at Northwestern University. The book begins with an exhaustive analysis ofthe life and times ofBertran de Born, his cultural and geographical milieus. Such considerations are crucial in studying a body ofpoetry the satirical and political content ofwhich, not to mention the circumstances of its production, depends both on the troubadour's relations with noble and royal families and on contemporary events. The introduction continues with enlightened discussion of Bertran's impor­ tance in contemporary Occitan literature and his subsequent role in literary 245 STUDIES IN THE AGE OF CHAUCER tradition. With respect to the latter, particular attention is paid to the Italian tradition culminating with Dante and, in modern times, to Ezra Pound. Treatment of these matters, consistently precise and scholarly, is enhanced by numerous pertinent maps and tables. In the main part of the book, each of the forty-seven songs (arrangedinsofar aspossible in order of composition as suggested by internal evidence wisely interpreted) is fully introduced, competently translated, and amply annotated. The book concludes with extant melodies transcribed by Hendrick van der Werf, tables ofhistorical data, a glossary, a complete bibliography, and an index. The editors establish their canon with judicious care. Equal care and seriousness are manifest in their concern for editorial principles. Rejecting both reconstructive methods as unproductive and the presentation of "an encyclopedic repertory" of texts as unfeasible (pp. 86-87), they base their texts on single manuscripts. Two criteria govern their selection of bases: "quality of the text" (the text chosen requires the least emendation) and, in cases when two manuscripts with different versions appear equally reliable according to the first criterion, "homogeneity of the edition" (i.e., prefer­ ence is accorded the manuscript that has already provided the greater number of base texts, p. 95). Not surprisingly-and somewhat regretta­ bly-the chansonniers produced in Italy, where the tradition appears more consistent than in the Occitan territory (thanks to a larger number of "mechanical" and "near-mechanical" copies), give an overwhelming major­ ity of the texts (25 from A, 9 from I, for example, but only 3 from C). The introductory matter for each song includes clear indications of strophic order and provides significant variants. Thus the scholar, mindful of the practicalconcernsbehind the first criterion and the objective, yet arbitrary nature ofthesecond, can haveconfidence in the texts at hand. However, the editors do not always resist the temptation to create new versions of their own (with a tornada, well attested in all manuscripts except the base, in song 2, an...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1949-0755
Print ISSN
0190-2407
Pages
pp. 245-247
Launched on MUSE
2018-01-03
Open Access
No
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