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Opposites and identities : Maurice Scève's 'Délie' and Charles de Bovelles's 'Ars Oppositorum'.

Banks, Kathryn (2008) 'Opposites and identities : Maurice Scève's 'Délie' and Charles de Bovelles's 'Ars Oppositorum'.', French studies., LXII (4). pp. 389-403.

Abstract

In early sixteenth-century France, uses and conceptions of opposition were varied and shifting. This article analyses some complex and apparently paradoxical notions of opposites and identities found in two very different texts, Charles de Bovelles's Ars oppositorum (1511) and Maurice Scève's Délie (1544), examples of Latin prose philosophy and vernacular love lyric respectively. I argue that Scève's poetry, like Bovelles's theory, reflects profoundly upon opposition, difference and identity. In particular, I focus in the Délie upon relations of opposition and similarity between ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’, evoked through the poet's use of the ‘jealous sun’ topos. Bovelles explores models of opposition drawn from contrasting generic contexts, including Aristotelian logic and Cusa's mystical theology. However, both the Délie and the Ars diverge in striking ways from strict categorizations of difference and identity (as typified by traditional dialectic). Both think through the relationships between antithetical modes of difference and other kinds, attempting to imagine even the co-existence of difference and identity. Both also present ways in which one relation of difference inflects another, and thus offer particularly complex accounts of dynamic interactions between opposites.

Item Type:Article
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (364Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fs/knn070
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copy-editing author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in French studies following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, Banks, Kathryn (2008) 'Opposites and identities : Maurice Scève's 'Délie' and Charles de Bovelles's 'Ars Oppositorum'.', French studies., LXII (4). pp. 389-403 is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/fs/knn070
Record Created:01 Feb 2011 07:20
Last Modified:07 Feb 2011 14:43

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