1st Edition

Polyphony and the Modern

Edited By Jonathan Fruoco Copyright 2021
    272 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Polyphony and the Modern asks one fundamental question: what does it mean to be modern in one’s own time? To answer that question, this volume focuses on polyphony as an index of modernity.

    In The Principle of Hope, Ernst Bloch showed that each moment in time is potentially fractured: people living in the same country can effectively live in different centuries – some making their alliances with the past and others betting on the future – but all of them, at least technically, enclosed in the temporal moment. But can a claim of modernity also mean something more ambitious? Can an artist, by accident or design, escape the limits of his or her own time, and somehow precociously embody the outlook of a subsequent age?

    This book sees polyphony as a bridge providing a terminology and a stylistic practice by which the period barrier between Medieval and Early Modern can be breached.

    Chapter 1 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license available at https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9781003129837

    Introduction: Towards Modernity

    Jonathan Fruoco

    Part One: Machaut and Musical Polyphony

    Chapter I. The Polyphony of Function: Mixing Text and Music in Guillaume de Machaut

    Uri Smilansky

    Chapter II. The Multilevel Polyphony of Machaut’s Livre dou Voir Dit and its Afterlife

    Rosemarie McGerr

    Part Two: Polyphony in Medieval Europe

    Chapter III. Cemeteries and Tombstones as Polyphonic Places in the French Medieval Quest of Lancelot

    Laurence Doucet

    Chapter IV. Polyphonic Effects in the Fixed-Form Verse of Eustache Deschamps: A Critical Practice

    Laura Kendrick

    Chapter V. ‘Galeotto fu il libro e chi lo scrisse’: Liminal Polyvocality in the Occitan Literary Use of Dante

    Paola M. Rodriguez

    Chapter VI. Novelistic Perspectivism in Béroul’s Roman de Tristan

    Teodoro Patera

    Chapter VII. Textual Voices in Compilation: Reading the Polyphony of Medieval Manuscripts

    Amy Heneveld

    Chapter VIII. Wolfram and the Ambiguity of the Religious Question in the Willehalm

    Patrick del Duca

    Part Three: From Medieval England to the Early Modern

    Chapter IX. Chaucer’s Speech and Thought Representation in Troilus and Criseyde: Encoded Subjectivities and Semantic Extension

    Yoshiyuki Nakao

    Chapter X Chaucer and the Streams of Parnassus

    Paul Strohm

    Chapter XI. "´Tis more ancient than Chaucer Himself": Keats and Romantic Polyphony

    Caroline Bertonèche

    Part Four: Towards Modernity

    Chapter XII. Evelina’s "Pollyphony"

    Anne Rouhette

    Chapter XIII. The Whirl of the Red, Green, and Blue: Christopher Anstey and the Particoloured Poem

    Peter Merchant

    Chapter XIV. Towards Modernity. Nova et vetera in Paul Claudel’s Book of Christopher Colombus

    Jean-François Poisson-Gueffier


    Jonathan Fruoco is an independent scholar. His research focuses on the linguistic and cultural evolution of medieval England, with a particular interest in the work of Geoffrey Chaucer and its connection with French and Italian courtly poetry. He has recently published Les faits et gestes de Robin des Bois (2017) and Chaucer’s Polyphony: The Modern in Medieval Poetry (2020).