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"A Fox Is Not Always a Fox! Or How Not to Be a Renart in Marie de France's "Fables""
Sahar Amer
Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature, 51:1, 1997, 9-20
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"In her fable collection known as the Esope, the first French female poet departs from the typological literature of her contemporaries and rejects the univocal and fixed animal symbolism of her period in order to create something new. I have chosen to focus on the representation of the fox since he, perhaps more than any other animal in the twelfth century, had a well established and well known symbolism, both in the vernacular and in the more didactic literatures. A study of the portrayal of the fox in Marie de France's Fables will thereby allow us to understand more fully the poet's innovation and her daring subversion of available models. However, the example of the fox is but one among many in Marie's recueil, and my conclusions apply to other animals and other aspects of the Esope. In other words, the example of the fox serves only as a prolegomenon to a more extended study of the representation of characters in Marie's Fables, as well as of the symbol-ism in her text, and of Marie's poetic craft in general." - Amer

Language: English

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