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Reading in the Renaissance: Amadis de Gaule and the Lessons of Memory (review)

Reading in the Renaissance: Amadis de Gaule and the Lessons of Memory (review) REVIEWS Marian Rothstein, Reading in the Renaissance: Amadis de Gaule and the Lessons of Memory. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1999. Marian Rothstein's Reading in the Renaissance makes an important contribution to our understanding of reading in 16th century France, which was a practice that was quite different from our own. Rothstein begins with a pertinent thesis that is often overlooked by modern readers of early-modern texts. The linear, "organic" development of plots and stories that readers expect of modern literary works is quite foreign to the non-linear plot schemes of the romans d'aventures on which Rothstein focuses her attention: "In the place of `organic unity,' a romantic notion, the texts I am interested in are structured by internal links and echoes which call upon readers' sensitivity to repetition, variation, and analogy" (11). The book continues with a meticulous demonstration of this thesis, which details Renaissance education and reading habits that propagated an "horizon d'attente" specific to the reading public that made Herberay des Essars's "Frenchified" version of Amadís de Gaula "France's first best-seller." Rothstein discusses the relation between Renaissance romans d'aventures, which she calls "novels" for the sake of convenience, and the epics of Antiquity, a comparison http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Reading in the Renaissance: Amadis de Gaule and the Lessons of Memory (review)

French Forum , Volume 26 (2) – May 1, 2001

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by French Forum, Inc.
ISSN
1534-1836
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Abstract

REVIEWS Marian Rothstein, Reading in the Renaissance: Amadis de Gaule and the Lessons of Memory. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1999. Marian Rothstein's Reading in the Renaissance makes an important contribution to our understanding of reading in 16th century France, which was a practice that was quite different from our own. Rothstein begins with a pertinent thesis that is often overlooked by modern readers of early-modern texts. The linear, "organic" development of plots and stories that readers expect of modern literary works is quite foreign to the non-linear plot schemes of the romans d'aventures on which Rothstein focuses her attention: "In the place of `organic unity,' a romantic notion, the texts I am interested in are structured by internal links and echoes which call upon readers' sensitivity to repetition, variation, and analogy" (11). The book continues with a meticulous demonstration of this thesis, which details Renaissance education and reading habits that propagated an "horizon d'attente" specific to the reading public that made Herberay des Essars's "Frenchified" version of Amadís de Gaula "France's first best-seller." Rothstein discusses the relation between Renaissance romans d'aventures, which she calls "novels" for the sake of convenience, and the epics of Antiquity, a comparison

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 1, 2001

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