Christine de Pizan’s <i>Dit de la pastoure</i>

Geri L. Smith

in The Medieval French Pastourelle Tradition

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780813033365
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038889 | DOI:
Christine de Pizan’s Dit de la pastoure

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In her 1403 Dit de la pastoure, Christine de Pizan turns the century-old French pastourelle inside-out. The most radical and sweeping innovation that Christine brings to bear on the pastourelle is the shift of the controlling narrative perspective and first-person voice to the shepherdess, the consequences of which are felt throughout the thematics of the poem. Christine recalls the trobairitz and women trouvères who appropriated lyric forms and reclaimed the words of their feminine poetic speakers, and she expands on an innovation fleetingly displayed by Adam's Marion and by Froissart's shepherdess in pastourelle. Christine pushes the feminine voice even further as a means, in part, to assert her own gendered poetic persona. The Dit is one chapter in Christine's literary and real-life struggle to carve out her place in the canon while setting the record straight on the value of women and the authority of women's experience.

Keywords: Christine de Pizan; shepherdess; trobairitz; French pastourelle; women trouvères; feminine voice; poetic persona

Chapter.  21443 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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