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Reading the WorldEncyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age$
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Mary Franklin-Brown

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226260686

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226260709.001.0001

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The Order of Nature

The Order of Nature

Encyclopedic Arrangement and Poetic Recombination in Jean de Meun’s Continuation of the Roman de la Rose

(p.182) (p.183) 4 The Order of Nature
Reading the World

Mary Franklin-Brown

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the writings of Jean de Meun, a different sort of intellectual whose primary literary activity was translation of important Latin texts. The chapter peeks into one of his writings: his continuation of the Roman de la Rose (ca. 1269–78) that apparently caught the eye of the French court. Although the text itself is heavily invested in the project of translation, it seems to be held together by a narrative of seduction that constitutes a recognizable calque of French romance. The chapter leans into Jean's interweaving in the Roman de la Rose of a number of contemporary discourses—such as the discourse of lyric and romance, or the allegorical discourse of Neoplatonic writers. This continuation of Jean seems to constitute a certain encyclopedic character, as mentioned by critics of the Rose in the late nineteenth century—a continuation wherein the challenge of its organization seems to have dispensed critics' attention from it.

Keywords:   Jean de Meun, roman de la rose, project of translation, narrative of seduction, calque of french romance, neoplatonic writers, allegorical discourse

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