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The Art of Meditation and the French Renaissance Love Lyric

The Art of Meditation and the French Renaissance Love Lyric: The Poetics of Introspection in Maurice Scève's Délie, objet de plus haulte vertu (1544)

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 1056
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  • Book Info
    The Art of Meditation and the French Renaissance Love Lyric
    Book Description:

    The Art of Meditation and the French Renaissance Love Lyricexamines the poetics of meditation in the French love lyric at the height of the Lyonnais Renaissance as illustrated by one of the country's most prominent writers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9756-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-2)
  7. 1 Two Models of Meditation for Délie: Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises and Augustine’s Confessions
    (pp. 3-76)

    While it is true that the early modern period is marked by a surge of humanistic activity, it is also true that it produced dramatic religious reform and spiritual renewal. On the one hand, these concurrent forces could be at odds and generate conflict. For instance, neo-Stoicism stressed confidence in the self-sufficiency of human capacities, while Calvinism emphasized utter dependence on grace. Similarly, while humanist publishers and printers sought to make the Bible available in vernacular translations, the Sorbonne scholastics condemned this practice (Jeanneret 1969, 18). On the other hand, the sacred and the profane, the religious and the secular,...

  8. 2 Meditative Praxis and the Tensions of Transvaluation
    (pp. 77-158)

    The two models of meditative rhetoric examined separately function together as complementary features of a single unit. It is now necessary to explore their simultaneous use and to focus on how Augustinian dramatic self-analysis operates with the Ignatian tripartite structure. This objective will show that meditative form is the organizing principle for a variety ofdizains, some celebratory in tone, others agonistic, and still others intermingling these voices. Also, having explained in chapter I that certaindizainsare modelled on theimpresa, I would like to extend my analysis of the device by illustrating its similarity to Ignatian rhetoric. One...

  9. 3 Lyric Dispossession and the Powers of Enigma
    (pp. 159-256)

    Poetry is the expression to which one resorts when overwhelmed by something ‘beyond words.’ Two human encounters that defy the powers of expression to match desire and word are love and God. InDélieemblematics and meditation intersect with the problem of ineffability. Central to the textual logic of the work is the poet-lover’s plaint of blunted or severed speech which he sees as an epistemological and communicative failure to make expression commensurate with desire. The speaker is both poet and lover, but the former cannot summon language that satisfies the latter’s need to name the woman, to describe his...

  10. 4 The Triple Way
    (pp. 257-265)

    Despite the range of perspectives encompassing the struggle between virtue and vice,Délieas a whole is organized around a specific meditative framework of spiritual progress that cuts across the sacred and profane and that appropriates a tradition extending from Plato and Pseudo-Dionysius to the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century meditative manuals. This is the method known in Christian spirituality as the Triple Way, consisting ofpurgatio,illuminatio, andperfectio. They are the virtues that counter the various manifestations of evil endured, caused, or tolerated by the lover. In positive terms these are complementary spiritual techniques that guide the soul through the...

  11. 5 Via purgativa
    (pp. 266-327)

    Dizain1 in conjunction with the liminaryhuitainis rich in meditative features characteristic of the purgative way. It is a superb example of the numinous, especially the sense of reverential awe, where the human encounter with the beloved is permeated with religious sensibility.

    L’Oeil trop ardent en mes jeunes erreurs

    Girouettoit, mal cault, à l’impourveue:

    Voicy (ô paour d’agreables terreurs)

    Mon Basilisque avec sa poingnant’ veue

    Perçant Corps, Coeur, et Raison despourveue,

    Vint penetrer en l’Ame de mon Ame.

    Grand fut le coup, qui sans tranchante lame

    Fait, que vivant le Corps, l’Esprit desvie,

    Piteuse hostie au conspect de...

  12. 6 Via illuminativa
    (pp. 328-411)

    No one better expresses the illuminative way than Bonaventure who, in theDetriplici via, says, ‘After the purgative way, there comes, in the second place, the illuminative way. Here a man must learn to use the beam of intelligence’ so that it ‘sheds light upon our darkness.’¹ Bonaventure inherited, formulated, and passed on concepts of spirituality which would enjoy favour in the Renaissance and popularity in the Catholic Reformation.

    The lineaments of Bonaventure’svia illuminativaare best outlined by reference to theItinerarium mentis in Deum.² This rich, compact work revolves around the self-diffusive light of the Divinity which...

  13. 7 Via unitiva
    (pp. 412-531)

    The perfective stage of the threefold way is thevia unitivain which spiritual aspiration achieves a high point of communion with the object of love. Neither a permanent state nor an uninterrupted ascent to a summit, it is rather a series of uneven peaks in the ongoing vicissitudes of moral or religious struggle.

    The ancient underpinnings of the perfective way can be sketched by reviewing key concepts of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. When these three philosophers are considered with their Orphic and Pythagorean predecessors, it would be appropriate to state that the Greek religious ideal was to achieve the...

  14. 8 Conclusion
    (pp. 532-540)

    Délieis a text composed of poems and illustrations functioning together to produce acanzonierebased on meditative poetics. The devices are integral components ofDélie’s introspective organization serving as compositions of place for the tripartite introspective movement of memory, understanding, and will. In addition, theimpresaitself is a compression of the threefold structure of meditation containing a vivid scene that fuses memory, analysis, and affective response clinched by the motto. In poems not accompanied by devices, there is frequently a verbal description functioning as the composition, and when placed at the beginning of adizain, it often takes...

  15. Appendix 1 Joannes Mauburnus, Scala Meditatoria
    (pp. 541-541)
  16. Appendix 2 Augustine, Confessions, X: 30
    (pp. 542-543)
  17. Appendix 3 Intersections of Illustrations and Dizains: Translation of Mottoes
    (pp. 544-548)
  18. Notes
    (pp. 549-618)
  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 619-658)
  20. Index
    (pp. 659-668)