Re: ‘aucun’ in Old French

Having spoken to a colleague in Old French, and consulting further dictionaries better suited to Escanor’s period (such as the Godefroy and Hindley/Langley/Levy’s Old French-English Dictionary), I have confirmed that in deliberating with the two translation possibilities for the passage previously posted, I in fact chose the wrong one! The passage does mean that ‘some people’ not, ‘no one’ who displeased the princess Andrivete could receive sharp words from her in return. ‘Mais’ is not a strong enough negative to mean ‘no one’, so this will be useful in future. I am pleased, because this gives her a more interesting character. It does seem more in keeping with her seemingly argumentative, or certainly more vocal, nature suggested by later passages. For example, there is competition between the ‘Queen of Traverse’ as I am presently calling her, and Andrivete. The issue of female jealousy and political competition is something I am looking forward to considering in this romance. Andrivete also expresses her dissatisfaction in other instances. Moreover, women besides Andrivete frequently challenge male members of the court in this romance, so it will be interesting to compare them with the main heroine. The love story between Andrivete and Kay features prominently as a thematic strand, and their love is eventually rewarded. So it will be interesting to see how a more vocal woman is dealt with by the text in comparison to other medieval romances which question issues around female silence, for example Enide’s speech in Chrétien de Troyes’ Erec et Enide. I am looking forward to analysing the tone of Andrivete’s conversations with Kay, as they have several ‘interviews’ or meetings together before eventually marrying.

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1 Comment

Filed under Andrivete, female speech, language, Old French, translation, women

One response to “Re: ‘aucun’ in Old French

  1. Squeeee! I am SO excited about this! 🙂 I gave you a shout out in my A to Z reflections post on Monday. I am not-so-secretly happy that Andrivete turned out to be sharp-tongued. Can’t wait to hear more about how it figures into the story 🙂

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