Neophilologus

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 333–347 | Cite as

« Or vous dirai »: La Vocalité des Récits Historiques Français du Moyen Âge (XIIe-XVe Siècles)

Article
  • 84 Downloads

Abstract

This article analyzes French medieval historical texts (romances, chronicles, and histories) from the 12th to the 15th century, and shows that during the Middle Ages, the vast majority of historical narratives were regarded as a form of storytelling. Textual evidence shows that numerous medieval historians dictated the story to a scribe, which explains why histories come across so often as verbal—rather than written—discourse. Moreover, although many historical texts came in voluminous manuscripts containing hundreds of pages, they were generally intended to be performed at court or in front of a local audience. But the historical narratives analyzed here are not exactly an oral genre, because unlike early chansons de geste and poems, they were not composed and transmitted in a strictly oral manner. This study argues that medieval histories are in fact a vocal genre, in the sense that although written, they strike the reader as a form of verbal storytelling.

Keywords

French literature Medieval histories and chronicles Orality Literacy 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliographie

  1. Barrois, J.-B. (1830). Bibliothèque protypographique ou Librairies des fils du roi Jean, Charles V, Jean de Berri, Philippe de Bourgogne et les siens. Paris: Crapelet.Google Scholar
  2. Bratu, C. (2010). Readers and listeners. In G. Dunphy (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the medieval chronicle (Vol. II, pp. 1260–1264). Brill: Leiden.Google Scholar
  3. Cavallo, G., & Chartier, R. (2001). Histoire de la lecture dans le monde occidental. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  4. Cerquiglini-Toulet, J. (1993a). La couleur de la mélancolie: la fréquentation des livres au XIVe siècle, 1300–1415. Paris: Hatier.Google Scholar
  5. Cerquiglini-Toulet, J. (1993b). L’imaginaire du livre à la fin du Moyen Âge: pratiques de lecture, théorie de l’écriture. MLN, 4, 680–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cerquiglini-Toulet, J. (2001). « A la recherche des pères »: la liste des auteurs illustres à la fin du Moyen Âge. Modern Language Notes, 116(4), 630–643.Google Scholar
  7. Chastellain, G. (1971). In K. de Lettenhove (Ed.), Œuvres. Genève: Slatkine Reprints.Google Scholar
  8. Chinca, M., & Young, C. (2005). Orality and literacy in the Middle Ages: Essays on a conjunction and its consequences in honour of D.H. Green. Turnhout: Brepols.Google Scholar
  9. Clanchy, M. T. (1979). From memory to written record: England, 1066–1307. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Clari, R. (2004). In J. Dufournet (Ed.), La conquête de Constantinople. Paris: Honoré Champion.Google Scholar
  11. Cockshaw, P. (1969). Mentions d’auteurs, de copistes, d’enlumineurs et de libraires dans les comptes généraux de l’état Bourguignon (1384–1419). Scriptorium, 23, 122–144.Google Scholar
  12. Coleman, J. (1996). Public reading and the reading public in late medieval England and France. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Commynes, P. (2001). In J. Blanchard (Ed.), Mémoires. Paris: Librairie Générale Française.Google Scholar
  14. Damian-Grint, P. (1997). Estoire as word and genre: Meaning and literary usage in the twelfth century. Medium Aevum, 66, 189–206.Google Scholar
  15. Damian-Grint, P. (1999). The new historians of the twelfth-century renaissance: Inventing vernacular authority. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  16. de Mas-Latrie L. (Ed.). (1871). La chronique d’Ernoul et de Bernard le Trésorier. Paris: Société de l’Histoire de France.Google Scholar
  17. Delisle, L. (1907). Recherches sur la librairie de Charles V. Paris: Champion.Google Scholar
  18. Doane, A., & Pasternack, C. (1991). Vox intexta: Orality and textuality in the Middle Ages. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  19. Eginhard. (1839). In G. H. Pertz (Ed.), Einhardi Vita Karoli. Série Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum. Hanovre: Hahn.Google Scholar
  20. Eley, P. (2006). Speech and writing in the Roman de Rou and Jordan Fantosme’s Chronicle. In G. S. Burgess & J. Weiss (Eds.), Maistre Wace: A celebration. Proceedings of the international colloquium held in Jersey, 10–12 September 2004 (pp. 121–137). St Hélier: Société Jersiaise.Google Scholar
  21. Finnegan, R. (1977). Oral poetry: Its nature, significance, and social context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  22. France, M. de. (1983). In J. Rychner (Ed.), Lais. Paris: Champion.Google Scholar
  23. Froissart, J. (2001). In G. T. Diller & P. F. Ainsworth (Eds.), Chroniques: Livre I (première partie, 1325-1350) et livre II. Paris: LGF.Google Scholar
  24. Froissart, J. (2004). In P. F. Ainsworth & A. Varvaro (Eds.), Chroniques: Livre III, Du voyage en Béarn à la campagne de Gascogne. Livre IV, années 1389-1400. Paris: LGF.Google Scholar
  25. Gaimar, G. (2009). In I. Short (Ed.), L’estoire des Engleis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Goody, J. (1968). Literacy in traditional societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Green, D. H. (1994). Medieval listening and reading: The primary reception of German literature 800–1300. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Guenée, B. (1973). Histoires, annales, chroniques. Essai sur les genres historiques du Moyen Âge. Annales ESC, 28, 997–1016.Google Scholar
  29. Guenée, B. (1984). Histoire et chronique. Nouvelles réflexions sur les genres historiques au Moyen Âge. In D. Porion (Ed.), La chronique et l’histoire au Moyen Age: Colloque des 24–25 mai 1982 (pp. 3–12). Paris: Presses de l’Université de Paris-Sorbonne.Google Scholar
  30. Havelock, E. (1981). The literate revolution in Greece and its cultural consequences. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Joinville, J. (1995). In J. Monfrin (Ed.), La vie de Saint Louis. Paris: Garnier.Google Scholar
  32. Lord, A. (1960). The singer of tales. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Menache, S. (2009). Written and oral testimonies in medieval chronicles: Matthew Paris and Giovanni Villani. Medieval Chronicle, VI, 1–30.Google Scholar
  34. Menache, S. (2010). Orality in chronicles: Texts and historical contexts. In S. Loutchitsky & M. Varol (Eds.), Homo legens. Styles et pratiques de lecture: Analyses comparées des traditions orales et écrites au Moyen Âge (pp. 163–195). Turnhout: Brepols.Google Scholar
  35. Monachus, R. (1866). Historia Hierosolymitana. In H. Wallon et al. Re´gnier (Ed.), Recueil des Historiens des Croisades: Historiens Occidentaux (vol. III, pp. 717–882). Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres.Google Scholar
  36. Nicolaisen, W. F. H. (1995). Oral tradition in the Middle Ages. Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies.Google Scholar
  37. Ong, W. J. (1991). Orality and literacy: The technologizing of the word. New York: New Accents. (première édition 1982).Google Scholar
  38. Parry, M. (1930). Studies in the epic technique of oral verse-making. I: Homer and Homeric style. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 41, 73–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Parry, M. (1932). Studies in the epic technique of oral verse-making. II: The Homeric language as the language of an oral poetry. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology, 43, 1–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Petit, A. (2007). L’activité littéraire au temps des ducs de Bourgogne: Les mises en prose sous le mécénat de Philippe le Bon. Synergies (Inde), 2, 59–65.Google Scholar
  41. Pizan, C. (1936). In S. Solente (Ed.), Le livre des fais et bonnes meurs du sage roy Charles V. Paris: Honoré Champion.Google Scholar
  42. Richter, M. (1994). The oral tradition in the early Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols.Google Scholar
  43. Saenger, P. (1997). Space between words: The origins of silent reading. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Sainte-Maure, B. (1836–1838). In F. Michel (Ed.), Chroniques des ducs de Normandie. Paris: Imprimerie Royale.Google Scholar
  45. Sainte-Maure, B. (1951–1967). In C. Fahlin (Ed.), Chronique des ducs de Normandie. Uppsala: Almqvist&Wiksells.Google Scholar
  46. Schaefer, U. (1992). Vokalität: Altenglische Dichtung zwischen Mundlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit. Tübingen: Günter Narr.Google Scholar
  47. Scholz, M. G. (1980). Hören und Lesen: Studien zu primären Rezeption der Literatur im 12. und 13. Jahrhundert. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner.Google Scholar
  48. Sherman, C. R. (1969). The portraits of Charles V of France (1338–1380). New York: NYU Press.Google Scholar
  49. Spiegel, G. (1993). Romancing the past: The rise of vernacular prose historiography in thirteenth-century France. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  50. Stock, B. (1983). The implications of literacy: Written language and models of interpretation in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  51. Tessier, G. (1962). Diplomatique royale française. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar
  52. Valenciennes, H. (1882). In N. de Wailly (Ed.), La conquête de Constantinople, avec la continuation de Henri de Valenciennes. Paris: Firmin-Didot.Google Scholar
  53. Vansina, J. (1961). De la tradition orale: essai de méthode historique. Tervuren: MRAC.Google Scholar
  54. Vaughan, R. (2002a). John the fearless: The growth of burgundian power. Rochester: Boydell.Google Scholar
  55. Vaughan, R. (2002b). Philip the bold: The dukes of Burgundy. Rochester: Boydell.Google Scholar
  56. Villehardouin, G. (2004). In J. Dufournet (Ed.), La conquête de Constantinople. Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
  57. Vitz, E. B. (1999). Orality and performance in early French romance. Rochester, NY: D.S. Brewer.Google Scholar
  58. Vitz, E. B., et al. (2005). Performing medieval narrative. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer.Google Scholar
  59. Wace. (2002). In J. E. Weiss (Ed.), Wace’s Roman de Brut: A history of the British. Exeter: University of Exeter Press.Google Scholar
  60. Wace (2004). (1970–1973). In A. J. Holden (Ed.), Le Roman de Rou. Paris: Picard.Google Scholar
  61. Wilkins, N. (1983). A pattern of patronage: Machaut, Froissart and the houses of Luxembourg and Bohemia in the fourteenth century. French Studies, 37, 257–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Zink, M. (1985). La subjectivité littéraire: autour du siècle de Saint Louis. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  63. Zink, M. (1998). Froissart et le temps. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar
  64. Zumthor, P. (1984). La lettre et la voix de la « littérature » médiévale. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  65. Zumthor, P. (1987). La poésie et la voix dans la civilisation médiévale. Paris: PUF.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of French & ItalianBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

Personalised recommendations