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Poétiques de la filiation. Clément Marot et ses maîtres : Jean Marot, Jean Lemaire et Guillaume Cretin

Abstract : This dissertation focuses on the evolution of French poetry in the early Renaissance, by way of Clément Marot’s debt to three writers of the previous generation, the “grands rhétoriqueurs” Jean Lemaire, Guillaume Cretin, and Jean Marot (Clément’s father). The recent rehabilitation of the rhétoriqueurs has left the premise of a “Marotic revolution” largely untouched, for the younger Marot developed a simpler, less grandiloquent poetic style than his predecessors and abandoned the duties of epideictic historiography in favor of shorter forms and lighter subjects. Our research challenges this premise, along with the artificial border between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance traditionally set around the year 1500 by French literary history. We contend that Marot’s art has to be studied in a “genealogical” light as much as on its own terms, and our goal was to reevaluate the influences that played a most direct role in shaping it. First, through close comparative readings of the occasional epideictic poetry addressed by the four writers of the corpus to their patrons (in particular funeral laments, historiography and propaganda works), our thesis shows how the work of three rhétoriqueurs of the last was already evolving in response to shifts affecting court culture and its duties; and how these changes, in turn, announced and nurtured their successor’s innovations. Second, we analyze Clément’s own account of this process: for it was his habit to salute the three masters who trained or advised him, thereby acknowledging his debt – or moving past it, albeit never in a polemical fashion. Whether he ostensibly avoided their poetic practices or tacitly copied them, whether he presented himself as a grateful apprentice or as a mature author making his mark, the younger Marot kept sketching out a history of recent poetry along with a tale of his own life. By studying actual, objective changes regarding poetic genres together with the personal narrative that highlights and makes retrospective sense of some of them, we show how Marot’s work implies and builds up a succession scenario, characterized by variety and subtlety rather than by the kind of rupture dramatized by later literary movements
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Ellen Delvallée. Poétiques de la filiation. Clément Marot et ses maîtres : Jean Marot, Jean Lemaire et Guillaume Cretin. Littératures. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAL006⟩. ⟨tel-01692632⟩

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