"The Girl's Confession of Love": A Bilingual Edition and Translation of the Fifteenth-Century "La Confession de la Belle Fille," also Known as "La Confession d'Amours," with Introduction and Notes.
- Burke, Linda.
- "The Girl's Confession of Love": A Bilingual Edition and Translation of the Fifteenth-Century "La Confession de la Belle Fille," also Known as "La Confession d'Amours," with Introduction and Notes.
- Burke, Linda. "'The Girl's Confession of Love': A Bilingual Edition and Translation of the Fifteenth-Century 'La Confession de la Belle Fille,' also Known as 'La Confession d'Amours,' with Introduction and Notes." Mediaevalistik 30 (2018 for 2017): 177-224.
- Burke argues that although the anonymous poem she translates and discusses neither influenced Gower nor was influenced by him, being composed after 1424, as one of the responses to Alain Chartier's "Belle dame sans mercy," it nonetheless should be seen "in context" (the term borrowed, in this sense, from Ardis Butterfield) with the "Confessio Amantis." Both are among "the riches of a common literary culture including, but not limited to, demonstrable 'borrowing' or direct influence from one text to another" (177). Burke makes a strong case for belated recognition, noting that the "Confession de la belle fille" had a fame substantially greater in its day than at present, as evidenced by some 45 extant manuscripts (197, n.14). Citing Jacqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, Burke connects the French poem and the CA as representatives of "confessional poems" (183) that use "orthodox confession to a Christian priest" (182) for literary/fictional purposes. There are, she notes, significant differences, however: Gower "generally attempts to present the claims of an earthly love as in harmony with a Christian's obligation to follow the commandments of God" (184) while the "Belle fille" is "a frank parody of a Christian confession, where 'sins' against love equate to chastity in Christian terms, and a 'priest' commands his young female penitent to surrender her 'heart and body' not to God but to her lover's desire" (184). The closest the CA comes to this treatment is in "The Tale of Jephthah's Daughter," where the message is "lose your virginity now for tomorrow may be too late" (186) and more significantly in the "Tale of Rosiphelee" (both from Book 4, "Sloth," at 1565ff. and 1245ff., respectively), which carries the same message. Genius succeeds in linking such tales to an encomium of "procreation as a 'good' of marriage," but close examination, Burke claims, shows Gower's tone to be one of "mock religious parody" (186), not unlike that of the "Belle fille." [RFY. Copyright. The John Gower Society. eJGN 38.1.]
- Gower Subjects
- Confessio Amantis
Sources, Analogues, and Literary Relations