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Title:Authorship Theory: The Case Of "courtois D'arras" (attribution, Stylistics; Bodel, Jean)
Author(s):Vandeberg, Camille Kennedy
Department / Program:French
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Courtois d'Arras has long been a subject of controversy among literary historians and philologists, for relatively little is known about its genre, provenance, or date of composition. The question of the work's authorship has aroused particular interest, giving rise to various theories of attribution.
This study examines the methodologies traditionally used to investigate the authorship of Courtois d'Arras in the context of a longer discussion of attribution theory in general. We suggest four methodological presuppositions which can contribute to the validity of an attribution argument; these presuppositions include the advantage of studying a series of features rather than a single one, the need for comparative material, the value of comparing all canonical works of the putative author, and the benefits of examining functional, rather than meaningful, textual phenomena. We then incorporate these four premises to design a method of linguistic analysis in order to test a theory ascribing Courtois to Jean Bodel. Courtois d'Arras is compared in terms of the frequency of a series of readily identifiable linguistic features with all of the known works of Jean Bodel and, for purposes of comparison, with works of two contemporary Artesian writers, Adam le Bossu and Baude Fastoul. The data indicate that Courtois d'Arras does not correspond stylistically to works known to be by Jean Bodel, and resembles more closely works not written by Bodel than those known to be canonical pieces.
We then use the same methodology and some of the same data to examine three related questions. We find that the sister's scene does not resemble the rest of Courtois d'Arras and thus appears to be spurious, that Courtois d'Arras corresponds closely enough to the fabliau Boivin de Provins to suggest that these may be products of the same writer, and that the Prologue to the Jeu de saint Nicolas is very different from Bodel's typical scale and was probably not written by that author.
Issue Date:1984
Description:167 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502328
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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