The Roman de la Rose was a major bestseller - largely due to its robust treatment of 'natural' sexuality. This study concentrates on the ways in which Jean de Meun, in imitation of Ovid, assumed the mock-magisterium (or mastership) of love. From Latin texts and literary theory Jean derived many hermeneutic rationales and generic categorizations, without allowing any one to dominate. Alastair J. Minnis considers allegorical versus literalistic expression in the poem, its competing discourses of allegorical covering and satiric stripping, Jean's provocative use of plain and sometimes obscene language in a widely accessible French work, the challenge of its homosocial and perhaps even homoerotic constructions, the subversive effects of coital comedy within a text characterized by intermittent aspirations to moral and scientific truth, and - placing the Rose's reception within the European history of vernacular hermeneutics - the problematic translation of literary authority from Latin into the vulgar tongue.
I have not seen an equally persuasive and textually supported account of this encyclopedic narrative. There is no better and more stimulating introduction to one of the most controversial and influential vernacular texts of the European Middle Ages. Archiv ... a richly rewarding and stimulating book ... persuasive and generously documented. Archiv With this book Alastair Minnis makes another substantial contribution to the study of medieval concepts of authorship and literary hermeneutics ... The book sheds much light on the reception of this very important text and on late medieval literary practices in general. It will be welcomed by students and scholars alike. Modern Language Review The difficulty of the material is offset by the author's engaging and accessible style and his ready sense of humour ... The unfamiliarity of most of the texts discussed is countered by his generosity with summary and explication, and his considerate translation of all quotations in medieval languages ... offers copious resources that will nourish much further discussion and debate about medieval vernacular poetics. The Review of English Studies
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st April 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.18 x 16.31 x 2.82
Weight (kg): 0.59