Dreams of Lovers and Lies of Poets
Poetry, Knowledge, and Desire in the Roman de la Rose

Sylvia Huot

Research Monographs in French Studies 31

Legenda

23 April 2010  •  124pp

ISBN: 978-1-906540-80-7 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-315094-80-9 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

MedievalFrenchPoetry


The Roman de la Rose explicitly offers an ‘art of love’, while also repeatedly asserting that the experience of love is impossible to put into words. An examination of the intertextual density of the Rose, with its citations and adaptations of a range of Latin authors, shows that the discourse of bodily desire, pleasure, and trauma emerges indirectly from the juxtaposition and conflation of sources. Huot's new book focuses on Guillaume de Lorris’s use of the Ovidian corpus, and on Jean de Meun’s dazzling orchestration of allusions to a wider range of Latin writers: principally Ovid, Boethius, and Virgil, but also including John of Salisbury and Alain de Lille. In both parts of the Rose, poetic allegory is a language that can express the unspeakable and the ineffable.

Sylvia Huot is Professor of Medieval French Literature and a Fellow of Pembroke College at the University of Cambridge.

Reviews:

  • ‘In addition to its richly suggestive analysis of the complex relationship between sexuality and language in the Rose, Huot's study makes a distinctive contribution to criticism's long-standing quest after meaning in the poem.’ — Helen Swift, Medium Aevum 74, 2010
  • ‘Huot’s argument is lively and cogent. This slim, persuasive book leaves little meaning in any claim that creative immersion in the ancients was unknown until the Renaissance. It gives us a richly polymorphous reading of the Rose.’ — William D. Paden, French Studies 65.4, 2011, 516
  • ‘Sylvia Huot’s elegant study deftly traces how both Guillaume and Jean manipulate earlier authors, particularly Ovid, Boethius, and Virgil, to generate an exploration of the workings of sexual desire, a subject which can only ever be discussed imperfectly and implicitly.’ — Jonathan Morton, Modern Language Review 107.3, July 2012, 931-32 (full text online)

Bibliography entry:

Huot, Sylvia, Dreams of Lovers and Lies of Poets: Poetry, Knowledge, and Desire in the Roman de la Rose, Research Monographs in French Studies, 31 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010)

First footnote reference: 35 Sylvia Huot, Dreams of Lovers and Lies of Poets: Poetry, Knowledge, and Desire in the Roman de la Rose, Research Monographs in French Studies, 31 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2010), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Huot, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Huot, Sylvia. 2010. Dreams of Lovers and Lies of Poets: Poetry, Knowledge, and Desire in the Roman de la Rose, Research Monographs in French Studies, 31 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Huot 2010: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Huot 2010: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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