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Building the Text : Architecture as Metaphor in Late Medieval and Early Modern France - David Cowling

Building the Text

Architecture as Metaphor in Late Medieval and Early Modern France

Hardcover Published: 1st March 1998
ISBN: 9780198159599
Number Of Pages: 256

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Descriptions of imaginary buildings abound in late medieval and early modern texts in France as in other European countries. The vogue for allegorical buildings was, however, more than a literary fashion: by deploying familiar metaphors of the building in new contexts, writers gained a powerful tool of persuasion. This book explores the complex relationship between metaphor and allegory in the largely neglected but extremely rich corpus of writing that spans the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century in France, and concentrates on the output of Jean Lemaire (c.1473-after 1515), whose fascination with architecture played a crucial role in defining his self-image as a writer. By exploiting the semantic richness of the image of the temple, Lemaire was able to combine panegyric of his patrons with advertisement of his own talents and to promote an ideology of the self-conscious and self-confident writer that was to characterize the stance of Ronsard and the Pléiade in the poet-architect debate of the later sixteenth century.

Industry Reviews

`David Cowling's Building the Text: Architecture as Metaphor in Late Medieval and Early Modern France is one of hte best studies of the rhetoriquers since Paul Zumthor rehabilitated this group of late-fifteenth century poets in La masque et la lumiere twenty years ago ... Cowling's study helps break down the artificial century bariers that long distorted our understanding of the years 1460-1530.' Cynthia J. Brown, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies. `David Cowling has done a scrupulous job of tracking down and assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a wide variety of previous works related to allegorical architecture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance ... an outstanding contribution to late-medieval and early modern French literary scholarship.' Cynthia J. Brown, Speculum - A Jnl of Medieval Studies. `This exciting and valuable book addresses a motif strikingly frequent in rhetorique writing, the description of imaginary buildings in allegorical contexts ... An impressively wide range of documentation is mobilized to illustrate the accumulation of the building's connotative potential; these historical surveys are in themselves extremely useful resources, which scholars of other periods and literatures could consult with profit. Equally admirable is the judiciousness and sophistication with which Cowling examines diverse texts ... Medievalists, early modern specialists, and comparatists alike should find this study extremely rewarding.' Adrian Armstrong, University of Manchester, FS, vol 53, no 2, 1999

List of Illustrations Introduction 1: `Il n'y a plus nobles logiz que sont cons': The Body as a Building (I) 2: `Ung lieu de si grand seureté': The Body as a Building (II) 3: `Ferme estoit sans povoir trebucher': The State as a Building 4: `Colloquerons ceans le sien ymage': Architectural Metaphors for the Mind and Memory 5: `Ce sont les huis et les cleres fenestres ...': The Text as a Building 6: `Ung temple y a, plus beau ne vit oncq nulz': Fictions of the Building in Jean Lemaire de Belges Conclusion Appendix: A Checklist of Architectural Allegories of the Period 1460-1540 Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780198159599
ISBN-10: 0198159595
Series: Oxford Modern Languages & Literature Monographs
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st March 1998
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.49