John Gower ou le Multilinguisme en Action,

Aude, Mairey.

John Gower ou le Multilinguisme en Action,

Aude, Mairey. "John Gower ou le Multilinguisme en Action." Médiévales 68 (2015): 57-72. [N.B.: this article is in French.]

Aude quotes in her own translation George Ashby's statement in "The Active Policy of a Prince" that Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate were the "premiers poètes de cette nation" but unlike the latter two, Gower alone wrote in three languages. About Gower's "multilinguisme" she poses two questions: 1) What status and functions did Gower accord to each, both for himself and for his listener? 2) Are there intersections between "les trois 'principaux poèmes' de Gower," and if so, of what sort? (57-58). She provides a chronology and very brief assessment of the major works: MO, Traitié, CB, VC, CT, "Poèmes latins," CA, and "In Praise of Peace" (59-61). Aude finds that Gower was "très attaché" to trilingual composition, citing "Eneidos Bucolis" (61-62). Contrary to arguments tying Gower's language choices to particular functions, e.g., Latin to political critique, Aude sees the boundaries between his language choices "fluid" ("floues") but with (in a nice turn of phrase) "les ponts nombreux" (62-64). This latter point she argues using charts ("Concordances thématiques") showing overlapping areas of social criticism, by class and occupation (64-69). Gower also knew his audience, she asserts, as they were largely also trilingual (69-70)--and this was important, since his purposes were to effect social and individual reform (71). [RFY. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 38.1.]


Gower Subjects
Language and Word Studies