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Text and gloss in Gower's "Confessio Amantis" and Christine de Pizan's "Épître Othéa": vernacular "accessus"
Año del Documento
ES: Revista de filología inglesa, 2012, N.33, pags.17-28
This paper considers how Gower's Confessio Amantis and Christine de Pizan's Épître Othéa function as vemacular accessus ad auctores, as critical introductions to the classical narratives that they repurpose as models of moral behavior. By examining these works, I investigate how the type of learning associated with the study of Latin texts becomes an exemplum that inspires the development of the vernacular's literary capacities. A comparison of the two suggests that the former theorizes the vernacular's potential as a literary language to identify the interpretive skills that it still needs to acquire, while the latter demonstrates such an acquisition. Together, Gower and Christine demonstrate the rise of a more "learned" vernacular in the late Middle Ages, primed by skills taken from Latinate practices and ready to stake its claim on literary excellence.
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