The art of clerkly love: Drouart la vache translates Andreas Capellanus

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Within the frame of a largely faithful Old French verse adaptation of Andreas Capellanus's treatise De amore, Li Lmres d'Amours (1290) by Drouart la Vache uses the processes of translation and textual emendation to reorient its source's ironic and at times highly critical account of love. Identifying the authoritative magister amons with the lover, Drouart affirms the value and probity of love as a way of life, but redefines the love in question as "amour pure": A virtuously chaste, though still erotic, passion associated by Drouart with the traditionally suspect figure of the amorous clerk, whom the translator vindicates and glorifies. Although Drouart's play to make love compatible with clerks' religious vocation is not entirely unproblematic, it marks an important turn in De amore's reception history toward an attempt to harmonize Christian morality with the profane ethics of refined love.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-149
Number of pages37
JournalMedievalia et Humanistica
StatePublished - 2015


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