Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Les Dits d'Henri d'Andeli

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Les Dits d'Henri d'Andeli

Article excerpt

Les Dits d'Henri d'Andeli, ed. Alain Corbellari, (Classiques francais du Moyen Age 146 (Paris: (Champion, 2003). 229 pp. ISBN 2-7453-0775-4. euro28.00 (p/b).

This timely and most welcome publication at last supersedes that of Heron (1881) by offering excellent new editions of the four works commonly attributed to Henri d'Andeli: the riotous allegories of the Bataille des vins and the Bataille des sept arts, the moving Dit du Chancelier Philippe, and the best known of Henri's works, the Lai d'Aristote. The introductory material strikes an impressive balance between detail and brevity by carefully synthesizing and evaluating the previous editions and studies cited in the ample bibliography (although NB typos in reference to Augustin's edition, p. 43). In this way, Alain Corbellari manages in relatively few pages to encapsulate the salient issues surrounding such contentious matters as the dating of texts and the question of authorship, and then to propose admirably circumspect yet plausible solutions. The brief description of manuscripts, including salient dialectal features, is also effective. If the treatment of 'Le sens de l'oeuvre' is less compelling, this stems more from the impossibility of doing justice to Henri's talents in a few pages than from any failing on the part of the editor.

The critical editions are likewise distinguished by their sensitivity and circumspection, with the detailed notes attesting to Corbellari's careful evaluation of both manuscript evidence and readings proposed by such scholars as Meyer, Henry, and Delbouille. Relative to previous editors, the majority of Corbellari's decisions reflect a greater desire to respect and justify the readings of the base manuscripts. …

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