Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Gautier De Coinci: Miracles, Music, and Manuscripts

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Gautier De Coinci: Miracles, Music, and Manuscripts

Article excerpt

Gautier de Coinci: Miracles, Music, and Manuscripts. Edited by Kathy M. Krause andAlison Stones. [MedievalTexts and Cultures of Northern Europe, Vol. 13.] (Turnhout: Brepols Publishers. 2006. Pp. xx, 487. euro80,00; $108.00.)

The fifteen selections of this timely volume, which grew out of an international conference on Gautier de Coinci held at the University of Pittsburgh in 2005, bring together perspectives from Old French literature and drama, art history, and musicology. In their examination of the music, images, and texts of the vast manuscript tradition of the Miracles de Nostre Dame (MND), the authors raise vital questions regarding authorial program and manuscript compilation, which, though precocious for the mid-thirteenth century, are currently being asked of the trouvère chansonniers as well. In the spirit of the current scholarly focus on manuscript context, moreover, this volume constitutes an integrated whole reflective of its object of study: its authors cite each other, allude to each other's arguments, and even offer competing analyses of the same topic, thus making the collection an intertextual tour deforce.

The papers, in English or in French, with abstracts in the other language, are organized into four sections: (1) Manuscripts, (2) Words and Music, (3) Figures and Types, and (4) Contexts. Six appendices totaling 100 pages place at the reader's fingertips indispensable reference tools that include an annotated list of all MND manuscripts; sublists featuring illustrated manuscripts and those containing lyric pieces; and a list of owners of MND manuscripts, both monastic and lay, early and post-1500. The volume is framed by an excellent introduction placing Gautier and the MND in the context of thirteenth-century literary experimentation and outlining the issues raised by the featured scholarly articles (Ardis Butterfield) and by a selected bibliography and index.

The section titled "Manuscripts" looks at the companion texts compiled with the MND, as they reveal Gautier's uvre to be more polished and complete than hitherto acknowledged (Olivier Collet), and examines the miniatures both for vital clues to manuscript dating and attribution (Alison Stones) and for what they can reveal, in light of contemporary intergeneric works, about Gautier's dual identity as monk and minstrel (Kathryn Duys). …

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