Notes: week 11


(click image for link to Herrad of Landsberg)


  • reading: Old Woman, authorial retraction, other knowledge outside the liberal arts (medicine, theology, law) and academe, applied knowledge in practice / everyday life in the actual material temporal world  (Roman de la Rose 193-227, 234-36)
  • the 14th century and later… from Christine de Pizan and the Querelle to Francis I and the Collège de France, Rabelais, Montaigne, and a second dream vision: that of educational utopias…
    and parallels earlier, later, and elsewhere outside Europe…


1 Discussion of blog questions and comments on week 10
Soundtrack: Hildegard of Bingen, The Origin of Fire – Music and Visions (Anonymous 4)
—, Canticles of Ecstasy (Sequentia)

2 Survival, subversion, and satire

  • alternatives and supplements to university education (1):
    —during “our” period: religious institutions, private tutors, schools, apprenticeships, the other university faculties (after a first degree in Arts), Béguines & adult/lifelong education
    —up to the 21st c.: libraries, prisons, liberal arts colleges & the Historical Black Colleges (ex. Howard), the Open University


1 The aftermath of the Roman de la Rose:

  • the parallel continuum of oral literature and culture:
    Performing Medieval Narrative project
  • alternatives and supplements to university education (2):
    —16th c. developments: François 1er and the Collège de France (Paris),
    —the Reformation and educational reform (ex. from England and Scotland)
    —“underground” hedge schools (Ireland)
  • other alternatives:
    —other utopian dream-visions: Machaut, Froissart, Piers Plowman, Christine de Pizan, More, Rabelais, Montaigne
    —early 16th c. imaginary utopian educations: we saw examples from the fictions of François Rabelais (extracts from Pantagruel and Gargantua) and Thomas More (Utopia); placing these two writers in a context and literary & intellectual (ideas) continuum of which the Roman de la Rose is a key part

2 Reading (in/of/and) the Roman de la Rose:

  • the Debate inc. Christine de Pizan
    —problems for 14th-15th c reader-critics: inappropriateness and obscenity (Reason, the ending), blasphemy (Genius), irresponsible immoral bad advice (Reason, Friend, Old Woman), misogyny (ditto, the latter two)
    —extracts from Aristotle and Horace on appropriateness
  • examples of what Old French verse looks and sounds like, feat. truffles et fanffelues (l. 20356)
  • what’s the point of it all?
    —Mirrors of Princes; thinking and rethinking education; comparative gardens and mirrors in the Roman de la Rose; reading and rereading (and wary care and scepticism) in the Roman de la Rose
    —authorial retractions and satire: what is your judgement, as good readers?
    (This is a genuine open question.)