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Vers fran'ois'pas assez limez pour estre mis en lumiere.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date2004
Host publicationEtienne de la Bo'tie. Sage r'volutionnaire et po'te p'rigourdin. Actes du Colloque International: Duke University
PublisherChampion
Number of pages89
ISBN (Print)2745308033
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In spite of the favourable judgements by some of his contemporaries, and in spite of the fact that a number of his poems figure in anthologies of French poetry, La Bo'tie's 'Vers fran'ois' of 1571/72 and the twenty-nine sonnets published by Montaigne in Book I of the 'Essais' (1580) have not been well received by critics over the years. Even Montaigne was ambivalent about the Vers fran'ois and voiced the opinion that the poems were not sufficiently polished or refined. This article reassesses the poetic value of the 'Vers fran'ois' by undertaking a detailed textual analysis of the dispositio and elocutio of a number of the sonnets and arguing for a more nuanced appreciation of his verse. In an opening general comment, it is suggested that part of the criticism levelled at La Bo'tie's verse is based on a misunderstanding of the disposition of his sonnets, the structural cohesion of which depends not on the more usual stylistic interplay between two quatrains and two tercets, but on the predominant patterning of two quatrains (ABBA ABBA) followed by a distich (CC) and a final quatrain (DEED). A detailed study of two sonnets (nos. 3 & 15) follows in which the structural and closural features (lexical, phonic and syntactical repetitions and parallelisms etc) are seen to give the texts coherence and allusivity. Finally La Bo'tie's sonnet 15 is compared with a sonnet (one of six) which Jean-Antoine de Ba'f rewrote for his 'Diverses Amours' of 1572, and the chapter asserts that the dispositio and elocutio of La Bo'tie's original sonnets are superior to Ba'f's six rewritings.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Chapter in book RAE_uoa_type : European Studies