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Title: Authorial Personae, Ideal Readers, and Advertising for the Book in Lemaire, Marot, and Rabelais
Authors: Francis, Scott Michael
Advisors: Rigolot, Francois
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Keywords: Book History
Reception Theory
Subjects: Romance literature
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The dissertation examines representations of the author, reader, and book in sixteenth-century printed editions of Jean Lemaire de Belges, Clément Marot, and François Rabelais. Considering both author and reader as literary constructs, I argue that authors and printer/booksellers, faced with a more indefinite readership after the advent of print, and hence with a possible discrepancy between supply and demand, have recourse to techniques similar to those of modern advertising in creating demand for their books and ensuring their favorable reception. I focus on two such techniques: the construction of the authorial persona and ideal readership. I compare authorial personae to the concept of prestige advertising, which seeks to allay fears of mass production and the profit motive by representing the printed book as an artisanal product and the author and printer/bookseller as concerned only with the reader's benefit. I also examine how editions construct an ideal reader, an idealized image of the reader that may be attained by reading and receiving the book in a certain way, much like ads present an image of the consumer to which the product can grant access. In so doing, I pursue a line of inquiry in which historical and philological approaches to authorship, readership, and book history inform our conception of how advertising functions, and vice versa. Chapter One shows how Lemaire's Illustrations de Gaule et Singularitez de Troye and its accompanying publications are an attempt to convince the literate public that Lemaire's services are what France needs most in the midst of Louis XII's bitter and costly feud with the pope, Julius II. Chapter Two examines how Marot's authorial persona is manipulated in authorized and unauthorized editions, and how the 1538 Oeuvres hint at the poet's misgivings with the flexibility of his persona and its use in attracting readers. Chapter Three shows how Marot's concerns are borne out in the works of Rabelais, who crafts an authorial persona increasingly centered on gratifying and healing readers, but who accompanies this persona with an ideal readership which simultaneously ties advertising techniques to Renaissance theories of self-fashioning and reveals the parasitism of these techniques.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

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