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Early Prose in France (Hardback)

Contexts of Bilingualism and Authority

Imprint: Medieval Institute Publications
Pages: 170
ISBN: 9781879288126
Published: 31st July 1992
Casemate UK Academic


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It is fast becoming dogma that French prose “emerged” out of poetry by a process of “deversification” in the thirteenth century. Since the earliest extant example of written French prose dates back to the eighth century, this premise cannot be taken at face value. Prose had been the medium of the clercs for many centuries before the thirteenth. It had been honed by constant use to all manner of functions whether legal, diplomatic, epistolary, or edificatory (to name only those exemplified in this study). Early Prose in France is above all a reevaluation, an attempt to call into question the assumption that “deversification” could have been responsible for the emergence of such lengthy prose works as the crusading chronicles and the encyclopedic translations of the early thirteenth century. In this volume Beer demonstrates the sophisticated stylistic propensities of Early French prose, an effort long needed that does a great service to all French literary scholars.

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