Medieval Literature in the Digital Age
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.
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1. A work like the Roman de la Rose, for example, created by two different poets around 1235 and 1280 respectively, exists in some 250 extant manuscripts, produced in France between c. 1290 and c. 1525. While some 150 of these manuscripts are preserved in French libraries, over a hundred more exist in repositories throughout the world: from England, Europe, and the United States to Japan.
2. Stephen G. Nichols, “François Villon.” European Writers: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, ed. W. T. H. Jackson. (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1983), pp. 535–570.
3. “Le Testament joue donc sur un double mouvement de cloture et d’ouverture.” François Villon, Œuvres completes, edition établie par Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet avec la collaboration de Laëtitia Tabard (Paris: Gallimard, 2014), p. 754.
4. Ibid., p. 755.
5. Ibid., p. 227. All translations are my own, unless otherwise indicated.
6. In the introduction to his Œuvres completes de François Villon (Paris: Galiot du Pré, 1533), Clément Marot tells us that Villon’s poems were commonly recited in Paris. Listening to old men declaiming his verse was one of the methods Marot used to establish reliable versions: … aveques l’ayde des bons vieillards qui en savent par cueur. See Stephen G. Nichols, “Marot, Villon and the Roman de la Rose.” Part I: Studies in Philology 63 (April, 1966), p. 142. ← 201 | 202 →
7. Item, Latin, “the same...
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