Thirty-five years ago Roland Barthes proclaimed the death of the Author. For medievalists no death has been more timely. In medieval French literature there are no Authors, only authors - and enigmas. Is the medieval author a name or a function, an authority or an image? The way we answer questions shapes how we think about names such as Jean de Meun, Guillaume de Machaut, Jean Froissart, Christine de Pizan, or lesser-known figures like Gerbert de Montreuil, Gautier de Coincy, Baudoin Butor, or David Aubert. The essays in this volume create a prism through which to understand medieval authorship as a process and the medieval author as an agency in the making. This book will appeal to all those who are interested in theoretical approaches to authorship and could serve as an introduction to medieval French literature for sophisticated readers. For specialists it delivers an assessment of current theoretical and methodological issues in medieval studies.
VIRGINIE GREENE is Associate Professor of Medieval French Literature at Harvard, USA.