These nineteen essays propose an in-depth examination of Reformation poetry and theatre, two sub-genres that have not drawn much critical attention lately. The overall concentration on aesthetic, stylistic, and thematic choices is meant to shed light on the specificities of Protestant writing, as expressed initially through biblical paraphrases and contrafactum. A clear opposition to mainstream (Catholic) poets as well as partisan and courtly productions such as Ronsard’s Discours, would allow for the establishment of an authentically Christian spiritual poetry without neglecting the erudition and aesthetic renewal characteristic of the Pléiade. This tension results in two distinct directions that Reformation poetry would take, which shows the difficulty in reconciling religious difference and literary traditions: spiritual, confessional, and anti-Ronsard; biblical, irenic, and inspired by Ronsard. It is certainly unfortunate, and this is doubtless the collection’s most regrettable flaw, that polemical productions have been largely left out, although this decision allows for a more homogeneous investigation of the Christian muse. Mario Richter opens the discussion by looking into the concept of grace and its problematic relationship to liberty in Calvinist poets such as Théodore de Bèze, Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, or Jean de Sponde. Véronique Ferrer is interested in the didactic functions of poetry, and Max Engammare, along those lines, analyses poems added to Protestant Bible translations. His investigation of paraphrases of the Psalms leads Jean Vignes to affirm the overwhelming influence of poets such as Marot, Ronsard, or Du Bellay on both sides of the confessional divide, similarly to what Letizia Mafale finds with regard to Guillaume Guéroult’s Chansons spirituelles oscillating between Calvinist and humanist influences, or Mariangela Miotti studying Ronsard’s influence on André de Rivaudeau’s poetry. Concetta Cavallini analyses another example of translatio studii, Vittoria Colonna’s spiritual Petrarchism, an approach that Davide Dalmas applies to the Canzone alla Vergine via the Pasquil. Anna Bettoni revisits early Bible translations from an anti-conformist angle, focusing on François Perrot’s Perles d’eslite (1577) and the importance of cultural transmission. Similar aesthetic concerns guide Bruno Petey-Girard’s reading of Pierre Poupo’s Muse chrestienne and the rare periphrastic sonnet. Isabelle Garnier reads Odet de La Noue’s Poesies chrestiennes as a posthumous dialogue with Ronsard, contributing to the appeasement of confessional tensions under Henri IV. Frank Lestringant contributes a reading of the ending of Book 5 of Agrippa d’Aubigné’s Les Tragiques, focusing on the negative transformation of conventional imagery and the ensuing corrective appeal of the inverted world-topos. Two texts of Jean-Baptiste Chassignet lead Michele Mastroianni to the conclusion of the poet’s moderate Catholicism. In the realm of theatre, Olivier Millet explores the potential for evangelical propaganda in the morality play La Vérité cachée. Cultural appropriation, allegory, and comedy inform Eugenio Refini’s reading of Jacques Bienvenu’s Triomphe de Jésus Christ, a translation of the English Calvinist John Foxe’s Christus triumphans. The Christianization of the language of tragedy interests Filippo Fassina (semantic changes, amplificatio, ideological variants). Jean-Claude Ternaux analyses the militant, perverted use of tragedy in Joachim de Coignac’s La Desconfiture de Goliath; Riccardo Benedettini the theme of salvation in Louis Des Masures’s David; and Daniele Spezari closes this rich and readable volume with comments on the interplay of speech and silence in Antoine de La Croix’s Tragi-comédie. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for French Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com
French Studies – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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