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From Parchment to Cyberspace

Medieval Literature in the Digital Age

by Stephen G. Nichols (Author)
Monographs XXIV, 244 Pages
Series: Medieval Interventions, Volume 2

Summary

From Parchment to Cyberspace argues the case for studying high-resolution digital images of original manuscripts to analyze medieval literature. By presenting a rigorous philosophical argument for the authenticity of such images (a point disputed by digital skeptics) the book illustrates how digitization offers scholars innovative methods for comparing manuscripts of vernacular literature – such as The Romance of the Rose or texts by Christine de Pizan – that reveal aspects of medieval culture crucial to understanding the period.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Advance Praise for From Parchment to Cyberspace
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Preface
  • Introduction: Why I Wrote This Book, or Medieval Manuscripts Unchained
  • Part one Technologies of the Medieval Book: The Manuscript Matrix
  • 1. What Is a Manuscript Culture?
  • 2. Materiality and Mimesis: Anatomy of an Illusion
  • 3. No Fool of Time: The Paradox of Manuscript Transmission
  • Part two Technologies of Manuscript Knowledge: How We Read Now in the Digital Middle Ages
  • 4. The Work of Reading
  • 5. Variance as Dynamic Reading
  • 6. Synoptic Reading: Medieval Manuscripts as Text Networks
  • Part three Coda
  • The Anxiety of Irrelevance: Digital Humanities and Contemporary Critical Theory
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Series index

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Introduction

Figure 0.1. Critical edition of Roman de la Rose, showing multiplicity of manuscripts it purports to represent.

Figure 0.2. Manuscript Folio (leaf/page) as complex hand-written and -painted artifact. Christine de Pizan composing poetry. London: British Library, MS Harley 4431, fol. 4r. Paris 1406–10.

Figure 0.3. Fleshing and removing hair from a cowhide in preparation for making manuscript parchment.

Figure 0.4. Polishing dried cowhide with pumice stone to make it smooth enough for painting and lettering.

Figure 0.5. Example of Lyric Insertion and surrounding huitains (95–96) in a bilingual edition of Villon’s Testament. [François Villon, Oeuvres completes, edition établie par Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet avec la collaboration de Laëtitia Tabard (Paris: Gallimard, 2014), pp. 96–97.]

Figure 0.6. Bi-folio from Le Testament Villon, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr. 20041, fols. 113v–114r. ← xi | xii →

Figure 0.7. Example of Lyric Insertion and surrounding huitains (“95-½ of 99”) in Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 20041, fols. 131v–132r. Paris, 15th century.

Chapter 1

Figure 1.1. Grandes chroniques de France, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 2813, fol. 357v. Paris, 1375–80.

Figure 1.2. Bas-de-page drawing of a poet/scribe reciting troubadour poetry he’s copying into a manuscript (shown here as a scroll). New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS. 819, fol. 63. Padua, c. 1280.

Figure 1.3. Author “Portrait” of troubadour Peire Milon. New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS 819, fol. 103r. Padua, c. 1280.

Figure 1.4. Composite author “portrait” showing Guillaume de Lorris and/or Jean de Meun, the poets responsible for bi-partite Roman de la Rose in c. 1235 and 1280 C. E. respectively. Guillaume, 4,000+ lines, completed by Jean de Meun in 18,000+ lines. New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS 948 fol. 5r. Rouen, c. 1525.

Figure 1.5. Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, Le Roman de la Rose, Miniature marking the transition from Guillaume to Jean’s continuation. Rubric under painting reads: “Ci commence mestre Jehan de Meun.” Dartmouth College, MS Rauner Codex 3206, fol. 27r (Paris, c. 1330–1350). Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.

Figure 1.6. Guillaume de Lorris lies dead and ready for burial, while the Lover (or Jean de Meun) stands outside the room mourning, but prepared to continue the quest/poem. Roman de la Rose, New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Morgan 948, fol. 44. Rouen, c. 1525.

Figure 1.7. Vincent de Beauvais Speculum historiale/Miroir historiale, tr. Jehan de Vignay for Jeanne de Bourgogne, Queen of France 1328–1348. Left panel, St Louis commissioning Latin work from Vincent de Beauvais in 1251; right panel, Jeanne de Bourgogne commissioning French translation from Jehan de Vignay in 1332–1333. Paris: Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal 5080 réserve, fol. 1, detail. Paris, 14th century. ← xii | xiii →

Figure 1.8. Vincent de Beauvais, Mireoir hÿstorial, Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 313, fol. 1r. Paris, 1396. Raoulet d’Orléans & Guillaume de Hervi, scribes, Perrin Remiet, artist. Escutcheon in lower part of folio bears the arms of Louis I, duc d’Orléans, brother of Charles VI, indicating this was his personal copy.

Figure 1.9. Saint Augustine, La cité de Dieu, translated by Raoul de Presles for Charles V from 1375–78. Folio shows translator’s identification of sources in left hand column (“Ysidore” [of Seville]), while rubric in column 2 summarizes the chapter to follow. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 22912, fol. 249v. Paris, 1375–78.

Figure 1.10. Gérard du Bus, Chaillou de Pesstain, & Philippe de Vitry, Le Roman de Fauvel. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 146, fol. 1r. Paris, c. 1314.

Chapter 2

Figure 2.1. Roman de la Rose, Courtly “vices:” Haÿne, Felonie et Vilainie, Convoitise. Berlin: Staatsbibliothek, MS Cod. Gall. 80, fol. 2r. Paris, first half 14th century.

Figure 2.2. Roman de la Rose, Courtly “vices:” Haigne. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 25526, fol. 2r. Paris, 2nd half 14th century.

Chapter 3

Figure 3.1. Roman de la Rose. Courtly Vices painted on the exterior wall of the Jardin de Déduit (Pleasure Garden): “Felonnie,” “Convoitise” [Cupidity], “Avarice,” “Envie.” Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 378, fol. 13v. Paris, c. 1290. ← xiii | xiv →

Figure 3.2. Roman de la Rose. Courtly Vices painted on the exterior wall of the Jardin de Déduit (Pleasure Garden): “Convoitise,” “Avarice.” Oxford: Bodleian Library, MS Douce 195, fol. 2v. Paris, 15th century.

Figure 3.3. Complex manuscript page (folio). Roman de la Rose. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Cod. Gall. 17, fol. 1. Paris, 1407.

Figure 3.4. Coronation of Philip VI of France, the first Valois King, in 1328. Grandes Chroniques de France. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 2813, fol. 353v. Paris, 1375–80.

Figure 3.5. Page layout with alternating red and blue decorated initials and elongated flourishes. Roman de la Rose. Dartmouth College, MS Rauner Codex 3206, fol. 5v. Paris, c. 1350. Courtesy of Dartmouth College Library.

Figure 3.6. “Exposicion sus ce chapitre.” “Le translateur.” Gloss incorporated into translation of Saint Augustine’s Cité de Dieu [City of God] by the translator, Raoul de Presles, at the behest of Charles V. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 22912, fol. 269r. Paris, 1375–77.

Figure 3.7. Marginal painting depicting a visual interpretation of the love “combat” in the poem it illustrates. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Morgan 819, fol. 211 (detail). Padua, c. 1280.

Figure 3.8. Presentation miniature showing Christine de Pizan offering this copy of her collected works to her patron, Queen Isabeau of Bavière, wife of Charles VI of France. London: British Library, MS. Harley 4431, fol. 3r. Paris, 1406–10.

Figure 3.9. Example of a basic, relatively inexpensive manuscript of the Roman de la Rose. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, MS Walters 143, fol. 8r. Paris, c. 1325.

Figure 3.10. Beginning (incipit) of the Roman de la Rose: “Maintes gens dient que en songes …” [Many people say that dreams are …]. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 25526, fol. 1r. Paris, 14th c.

Figure 3.11. The Lover at the Pool of Narcissus. Roman de la Rose. Munich: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS. Cod. Gall. 17, fol. 10v. Paris, c. 1407.

Figure 3.12. The Lover at the Pool of Narcissus. Roman de la Rose. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS fr 1559, fol. 14v. Paris, 1280–1300. ← xiv | xv →

Figure 3.13. Oiseuse (the doorkeeper), holding a mirror, admits the Lover into the Jardin de Déduit. Roman de la Rose. Oxford: Bodleian Library, MS. Selden Supra 57, fol. 5v. Paris, 14th c.

Figure 3.14. Oiseuse, holding a mirror, admits the Lover into the Jardin de Déduit. Roman de la Rose. Oxford: Bodleian Library, MS. Douce 195, fol. 5r. Paris, later 15th c.

Figure 3.15. Portrait of two of nine courtly “vices” painted on the exterior wall of the Jardin de Déduit [Pleasure Garden], Papelardie and Povreté [Religious Hypocrisy and Poverty]. Roman de la Rose. New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Morgan 948, fol. 11r. Rouen, c. 1525.

Figure 3.16. Early portrait of the courtly “vices” painted on the exterior wall of the Jardin de Déduit. “Povreté pourtraite” [Portrait of Poverty]. Roman de la Rose. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, MS. Walters 143, fol. 4v. Paris, c. 1325.

Chapter 4

Figure 4.1. Ernest Langlois’s critical edition of the Roman de la Rose par Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun, publié d’après les manuscrits (5 vols. Paris: Firmin Didot and Honoré Champion, 1914–1924) surrounded by a sample of Rose manuscripts ranging from the early fourteenth to the early sixteenth centuries.

Chapter 5

Figure 5.1. Author Portrait showing Christine de Pizan writing the Cent ballades. London: British Library, MS Harley 4431, fol. 4r (Paris, 1410–12).

Figure 5.2. Le Roman de la Rose. Youth personified as young couple embracing. Paris: Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève MS 1126, fol. 7v (Paris, 1325–1375).

Figure 5.3. Le Roman de la Rose. Youth personified as young couple embracing. Paris: Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève MS 1126, fol. 8r (Paris, 1325–1375). ← xv | xvi →

Figure 5.4. Le Roman de la Rose. Introduction by Guillaume de Lorris (detail). Paris: Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève MS 1126, fol. 1v-c (Paris, 1325–1375).

Figure 5.5. Le Roman de la Rose. God of Love shoots lover through the eye to reach his heart (to provoke love for the Rose). Lyon: Bibliothèque municipal, MS 763, fol. 12r (Paris, 14th c.).

Figure 5.6. Le Roman de la Rose. God of Love shoots lover through the eye to reach his heart (to provoke love for the Rose). Lyon: Bibliothèque municipal, MS 763, fol. 12r, detail (Paris, 14th c).

Details

Pages
XXIV, 244
ISBN (ePUB)
9781433136580
ISBN (PDF)
9781453915981
ISBN (MOBI)
9781433136597
ISBN (Hardcover)
9781433129636
Language
English
Publication date
2016 (August)
Published
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2016. XXIV, 244 pp., ill.

Biographical notes

Stephen G. Nichols (Author)

Stephen G. Nichols, a medievalist, is James M. Beall Professor Emeritus of French and Humanities, and Research Professor at Johns Hopkins University. He has written or edited some 26 books on the Middle Ages, including Romanesque Signs: Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography, for which he received the MLA’s James Russell Lowell Prize. He holds an honorary Docteur ès Lettres, from the University of Geneva, and was decorated Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French government. The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation awarded him its Research Prize in 2008 and again in 2015. Nichols co-directs JHU’s Digital Library of Medieval Manuscripts (www.romandelarose.org), and co-founded the electronic journal, Digital Philology, A Journal of Medieval Culture, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. He chaired the Board of the Council of Library Information Resources from 2008 to 2013, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as of the Medieval Academy of America.

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