Villons Last Will: Language and Authority in the Testament

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byTony Hunt

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Villon studies have traditionally emphasized the documentary and didactic value of the Testament, concentrating on problems of historical referentiality. It is assumed that the work has a significant autobiographical element and that it has much to tell us about life in fifteenth-centuryParis. The Testament has thus been avidly exploited by historians of the period and its interest as a document is well-established. Tony Hunt's present study concentrates exclusively on the textual strategies of the Testament, in particular on rhetorical techniques involving dialogue and irony.Villon's Last Will views the Testament as ironic from start to finish, and the main objects of the irony are identified as language and authority. The dissolution of meaning, authority, and even authorial identity are seen to be the principal results of the poet's rhetoric. Tony Hunt's close readingof the text has produced a lively and well-informed commentary, full of fresh insights.

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Villon studies have traditionally emphasized the documentary and didactic value of the Testament, concentrating on problems of historical referentiality. It is assumed that the work has a significant autobiographical element and that it has much to tell us about life in fifteenth-centuryParis. The Testament has thus been avidly exploit...

Tony Hunt, Faculty Lecturer in Medieval French Literature, and Fellow, St Peter's College, Oxford.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:174 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198159145

ISBN - 13:9780198159148

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`Tony Hunt's study is a very big book pakced into a riotously small space. The erudition, it and ribald fun of Villon's text is dexterously unpacked through close reading and scholarly commment on the generic and social contexts. Villon's irony and Sterne-like self-referentiality are broughtto the fore for the first time to make this an important new contribution to the study of Villon, with a delightfully light, but no less incisive, critical touch.'Forum for Modern Language Studies 35:4 99