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From poésie to poetry: remaniement and mediaeval techniques of French-to-English translation of verse romance

Ford, John (2000) From poésie to poetry: remaniement and mediaeval techniques of French-to-English translation of verse romance. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

From Poesie to Poetry: Remaniement and Mediaeval Techniques of French-to-English Translation of Verse Romance, explores the use of remaniement, the art of rewriting, as the method preferred for vernacular translations of genres such as romance. A thorough history of the practice's principles are given, drawing on comments from Classical rhetoricians, patristic writers, authorities of the artes poeticae, and mediaeval translators employing the procedure. A textual analysis of the Middle English Amis and Amiloun follows, utilising a broadly structuralist approach which compares each individual episode and 'lexie' with its Old French and AngloNorman predecessors. This examination demonstrates remaniement to be the method used to translate the romance, highlighting both the important debt owed to the francophone traditions as well as the use of dynamic interpretation to lend the work salience to an English audience. A subsequent linguistic examination includes a new definition of formulae based on prototype theory which utilises mental templates to identifY occurrences. This permits the recognition of over 3000 instances of formulaic diction, many of which can be traced back to native preConquest traditions, as can certain aspects of verse and structure. What emerges, therefore, is a composite work heavily indebted to continental and insular French sources for content and some aspects of style, but largely readapted to lend it appeal to an early fourteenth-century Anglophone audience. The thesis therefore clarifies the establishment and use of remaniement, provides a detailed examp Ie of its use, and in doing so reveals the true extent of the oft overlooked debt owed to francophone traditions in creating English romances. By way of setting these dimensions into a wider context, the conclusion suggests such translations had a general effect on the development of a new insular style, setting standards for the independent creation of works in English as that language continued to re-establish itself as an accepted medium for literary expression.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Prof. Jeremy J. and Simpson, Dr. James R.
Date of Award: 2000
Depositing User: Mr Toby Hanning
Unique ID: glathesis:2000-2690
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:58
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/2690

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