« Seulette suis » : Christine de Pizan’s rhetoric of power through loneliness and poverty

« Seulette suis » : Christine de Pizan’s rhetoric of power through loneliness and poverty

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 8
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.

Economy & Finance

Publish on:

Views: 32 | Pages: 8

Extension: PDF | Download: 1

  « Seulette suis » : Christine de Pizan’s rhetoric of power through loneliness and  poverty« Seulette suis et seulette veux être/ Seulette ’a on doux ai laissi!e » are the first two verses of Christine de Pizan’s ost faous poe" in which she laents on her condition as a widow# Christine" the daughter of Charles $’s tutor %hoas de Pizan" was indeed widowed in &'() after her hus*and" +tienne du Castel" died" leaving her alone with their two children# Christine had to she had to start writing in order to raise her faily# %his state of eergency and poverty nevertheless ar,ed Christine treendously" and influenced her writing# Sadness and poverty are central toher wor,s" where she oftenties descri*es herself as a -pauvre seulette". a poor lonely woan whose life was torn apart *y the death of her hus*and#  will argue in this presentation that Christine’s relation to poverty and sadness ust *e put in context with her position as a woan" who uses these dire events in order to create a rhetoric of power and union" in which every woan who suffered such hardship is included" creating a counity of strong woen#%he death of +tienne du Castel was for Christine disastrous on two levels# 0is death destroyed her eotionally" since her wedding had *een a 1oyous one and she fondly loved hi# t also shattered her aterially" since she was left in dire straits# n her  Livre de l’advision Christine  2&3)45" Christine clearly relates the harsh life she has *een living ever since +tienne’s death# She was not a*le to *enefit fro her hus*and’s property" which had *een repossessed *y the crown 2-e convenoit paier la rente" et sin’en 1ouissoie. #65 7oney that had *een saved for her children was stolen *y a con artist 2-il fist acroire 8u’il avoit est! desro*ez et si s’a*senta et fui. #65 She owned agreat deal of oney to her and her hus*and’s creditors 2-Ceulz 8ui e devoient ’assailloient affin 8ue ne ’avans9asse de leur riens deander". #65 Christine’s  poverty is real" and as a widowed woan in the 7iddleages" her situation was 1  extreely harsh# n  L’Advision " she uses the description of her terri*le condition in a  plea to ;ady Philosophy" who appeared to her suddenly#%he character of Philosophy is central to Christine’s writings< she had a great adiration for =oethius’ Consolatio Philosophiae  2around 4>3 ?@5" which she uses as an intertext in any of her wor,s# n his *oo," =oethius explains the vision he had" while in prison" of ;ady Philosophy" who appeared to hi# 0e was desperate" sad and fearful" waiting for his execution" *ut the lady" through her words" appeased hi and  prepared hi to accept his condition and his sorrows# %hese thees of fortune and consolation have *een widely used *y Christine in her wor,s" nota*ly in order to explain how she" as a widow torented *y fate" was a*le to overcoe her grief# ?nne Paupert underlines the iportance of =oethius in Christine’s wor,s" and how its use allows Christine to rewrite =oethius to *lend it to her needs: -7êe lors8u’elle le copile AB elle odifie et reorganise selon ses *esoins les at!riaux utilis!s.# Devin =rownlee argues that the *oethian odel developed in her wor,s ena*les -Christine selfrepresentation as an overtly fealegendered author#.  will argue that the selfcreation of Christine as a powerful woan is only the first step towards a wider field of action" in which she uses the *oethian odel as descri*ed *y =rownlee in order to position herself as a sort of guide" or exaple to *e followed *y woen that are struggling# n order to develop this idea" it is iportant to note the nature of poverty# n Christine’s idea" poverty is a dou*lefaceted pro*le# t is iportant" indeed" to see  poverty not only through the aterialistic diension 2lac, of oney" of possession" of titles5 *ut also through its sy*olic diension# %he poverty of feelings" in the sense that it acts as a drought of positive eotions 2love" 1oy" content5 to *e replaced *y negative ones 2sadness" fear" despair5 is as terri*le" in Christine’s ind" as the actual 2  onetary pro*les she went through# n a highly asculine edieval society" woenwere characterized *y their arriage# 7arried woen who were unluc,y enough to  *ecoe widows lost their status in society" having ere possi*ilities to regain it *ut rearry or enter a secluded life in a onastery#  will argue that Christine tries and override this fatality *y using her own exaple to transpose it to a general population of woen suffering of the sae pro*les she did#%he =attle of ?gincourt 2Ecto*er >4 th " &3&45 gave her the perfect opportunity for this# %his *attle was one of the ost terri*le" if not the ost defeat of the 0undred Fears war# =arely twenty years after the *attle of Gi,opolis" in which a lot of ,nights were ,illed" the Hrench aries were annihilated" and ost of their ,nights ,illed or ta,en prisoners" *y a uch saller +nglish ary" ainly due to the superior firepower of +nglish archers# 7ost of all" this disaster too, place during a particularly difficult period for Hrance# En top of facing +nglish attac,s" Hrance was also torn apart *y a civil war opposing the Erl!ans and the =ourguignons for the control of Hrance" since ,ing Charles $ was not capa*le of governing after the crisis of adnessthat struc, hi in &'(># Christine de Pizan wrote her   Epistre de la prison de vie humaine  2&3&I5 in reaction to ?gincourt# %he epistle is addressed priarily to -@ae 7arie de =erry" @uchesse de =our*on et d’?uvergne". and Christine’s o*1ective is to help her to -trouver reede et edicine a la griefve aladie et feret! d’aertue de cuer et tristesse de pens!e" par 8uoy flux de leres AB peust estre restraint#. 2+P$0 >5#   t is interesting to notice the parallel *etween the  Advision  and the  Epistre " andhow Christine’s personality evolved *etween these two *oo,s# %he Christine fro the  Advision  was a griefstric,en widow" whose eotional discourse" as  have deonstrated" was very uch directed towards her own suffering# She is still a -raw. 3  character" whose raw eotions have not *een processed yet" which causes ;ady Philosophy’s ire: -+t pour8uoy te plains tu par ingratitude des *iens 8ue tu as receusJ AB +t 8ue tu es deceue" 1e prouveray par prati8ue de gros exeple: coe l’expert edecin 8ui considere la faculte de la nature et coplexion de son pacient AB lui donne purgatoire et edicine" ainsi useray en toy de regise tenue et legier AB tells ou se*la*les 8ue 1adis 1e donnay a on a! =ouesce#. Christine" then" finally accepts the nuerous pieces of advice that Philosophy gives her in order to *e consoled" and Christine finally feels freed fro her yo,e of sadness: -Si dis 8ue toy" Sainte %heologie et divinit!" es une tres grasse viande 8ui contient en toy toutes delices. #>K# %he cure that she received *ecoes the central point of the  Epistre # %here is a clear parallel" drawn *y Christine herself" *etween 7arie’s sufferings as a widow and her own# n her deonstration" she uses the extree eotions that she felt in order to understand and feel herself the eotions that 7arie is going through< Christine indicates that she is -eu de piti! et de loyale et vraie affection#.  do not consider that pity should *e considered here as a negative feeling" *ut ore as the ac,nowledgeent of the distress that 7arie is going through# Christine understand what 7arie is going through" a terri*le feeling that only woen having lost loved ones can understand# Christine’s self appointed role" in that atter" is to help 7arie find a -reede et edicine. 2-cure and edication.5 for this -griefve aladie. 2-serious disease.5# t is nevertheless very iportant to consider that the cure that Christine is proposing herself to deliver to 7arie is not going to *e a iraculous solution for her sufferings# She always reinds the reader and 7arie of her condition as a widow 2referred to as her -petit estat vesval". her -sall widow condition.5# She herself recognizes that the eotions and sufferings *egotten *y such disappearances are -inrecouvra*le et fort a ou*lier#. %he  Epistre is then conceived   as a edicine" that 4  is going to try and soothe the horror she has *een through" trying to a,e the horror ore accepta*le 2-en donnant reconfort. -*y giving solace.+P$0 35# Hor Christine" the process of acceptation is closely lin,ed to a coplete iersion in Christ" that will help the process of acceptation that  will explain later one# Lenate =luenfeldDosins,i explains that -for an understanding of the  Epistre de la prison de vie humaine  it is iportant to ree*er that" at the end of the  Advision " AB ;ady Philosophy is transfored into ;ady %heology" thus draatizing Christine’s oveent fro intellectual to religious aspect of consolation#.  consider that Christine" who ephasizes the iportance of religion and acceptation in order to *e cured fro sadness through her own experience" transfors herself into a new interation of ;ady Philosophy# She went fro -ignorant. victi in the  Advision  to a woan aware of her sadness" and using it in order to teach her fellow widows how to survive this experience# She is eotionally and intellectually close to 7arie’s suffering# Christine reinforces this lin," and starts instigating what  would define as an effort of proxiity and intiacy# Christine indeed explains that -1e suppli hu*leent ton huaine de*onnairet!" 8ue n’ait a al se en singulier1e parle a toy" c’est assavoir par tu#. %his failiarity that Christine esta*lishes *etween Christine and7arie reinforces the eotional *ond that Christine started to create *etween *oth through a didactic of discourse through which the -natural. distance *etween the  powerful 7arie 2her father was Mean st of =erry" son of Ding Mean the Second of Hrance5 and Christine is erased# Social ran,s do not exist anyore" since they are facing the sae struggles and horrors# %his positioning as an e8ual through suffering is also a way for Christine to explain the universal and unifying character of their affliction# %he eotions that are *egotten *y the death of one’s significant other are universal" in the sense that traditional riches" ran, or class are underined *y the 5
Related Search
Similar documents
View more...
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks