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As the visual representation of an essentially oral text, Sylvia Huot points out, the medieval illuminated manuscript has a theatrical, performative quality. She perceives the tension between implied oral performance and real visual artifact as a fundamental aspect of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century poetics. In this generously illustrated volume, Huot examines manuscript texts both from the performance-oriented lyric tradition of chanson courtoise, or courtly love lyric, and from the self-consciously literary tradition of Old French narrative poetry. She demonstrates that the evolution of the lyrical romance and dit, narrative poems which incorporate thematic and rhetorical elements of the lyric, was responsible for a progressive redefinition of lyric poetry as a written medium and the emergence of an explicitly written literary tradition uniting lyric and narrative poetics.

Huot first investigates the nature of the vernacular book in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, analyzing organization, page layout, rubrication, and illumination in a series of manuscripts. She then describes the relationship between poetics and manuscript format in specific texts, including works by widely read medieval authors such as Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meun, and Guillaume de Machaut, as well as by lesser-known writers including Nicole de Margival and Watriquet de Couvin. Huot focuses on the writers' characteristic modifications of lyric poetics; their use of writing and performance as theme; their treatment of the poet as singer or writer; and of the lady as implied reader or listener; and the ways in which these features of the text were elaborated by scribes and illuminators. Her readings reveal how medieval poets and book-makers conceived their common project, and how they distinguished their respective roles.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Frontispiece
  2. p. ii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. Part One: On the Nature of the Book In the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
  2. pp. 9-10
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  1. 1. Scribal Practice and Poetic Process in Didactic and Narrative Anthologies
  2. pp. 11-45
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  1. 2. Scribal Practice in Lyric Anthologies: Structure, Format, and Iconography of Trouvère Chansonniers
  2. pp. 46-80
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  1. Part Two: Lyricism and the Book In the Thirteenth Century
  2. pp. 81-82
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  1. 3. Singing, Reading, Writing: Guillaume de Lorris, Jean de Meun, and the Manuscript Tradition of Le Roman de la rose
  2. pp. 83-105
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  1. 4. Text as Performance, Text as Artifact: Contrasting Models for the Romance with Lyric Insertions
  2. pp. 106-134
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  1. 5. The Audiovisual Poetics of Lyrical Prose: Li Bestiaire d’amours and Its Reception
  2. pp. 135-173
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  1. 6. Lyrical Writing and Compilation in Le Roman de fa poire and Le Dit de la panthère d’amours
  2. pp. 174-208
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  1. Part Three: Lyricism and the Book In the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 209-210
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  1. 7. The Vernacular Poet as Compiler: The Rise of the Single-Author Codex in the Fourteenth Century
  2. pp. 211-241
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  1. 8. From Song to Book in an Early Redaction of the Oeuvre of Guillaume de Machaut: The Codex Bibl. Nat. fr. 1586
  2. pp. 242-273
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  1. 9. A Late Redaction of Machaut’s Oeuvre: The Codex Bibl. Nat. fr. 1584
  2. pp. 274-301
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  1. 10. The Poetics of Lyrical Writing in the Works of Jean Froissart
  2. pp. 302-327
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 328-338
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  1. Appendix A: The Rubrication of Guillaume de Lorris in MS Bibl. Nat. fr. 378
  2. pp. 339-342
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  1. Appendix B: Table of Miniatures in Selected Texts by Machaut, MSS Bibl. Nat. fr. 1584 and 1586
  2. pp. 343-346
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  1. Appendix C: Excerpt from an Unedited Volume of Le Roman de Perceforest, MS Bibl. Nat. fr. 346
  2. pp. 347-350
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  1. Bibliography of Works Cited
  2. pp. 351-364
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 365-372
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