Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies

Members

The list below shows Durham University research staff who are members of IMEMS. Click the member's name to see a more detailed biography and department.

We also welcome anyone from outside the University with an interest in our work to join. Membership is free of charge. You will receive invitations to our programme of events, with a weekly emails digest about what is happening in the Insitute and further afield. To join IMEMS contact: admin.imems@durham.ac.uk

Publication details for Dr Kathryn Banks

Banks, Kathryn. (2008). Opposites and Identities: Maurice Scève's Délie and Charles de Bovelles's Ars Oppositorum. French Studies 62(4): 389-403.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

In early sixteenth-century France, uses and conceptions of opposition were varied and shifting. This article analyses some complex and apparently paradoxical notions of opposites and identities found in two very different texts, Charles de Bovelles's Ars oppositorum (1511) and Maurice Scève's Délie (1544), examples of Latin prose philosophy and vernacular love lyric respectively. I argue that Scève's poetry, like Bovelles's theory, reflects profoundly upon opposition, difference and identity. In particular, I focus in the Délie upon relations of opposition and similarity between ‘microcosm’ and ‘macrocosm’, evoked through the poet's use of the ‘jealous sun’ topos. Bovelles explores models of opposition drawn from contrasting generic contexts, including Aristotelian logic and Cusa's mystical theology. However, both the Délie and the Ars diverge in striking ways from strict categorizations of difference and identity (as typified by traditional dialectic). Both think through the relationships between antithetical modes of difference and other kinds, attempting to imagine even the co-existence of difference and identity. Both also present ways in which one relation of difference inflects another, and thus offer particularly complex accounts of dynamic interactions between opposites.