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The Familiar EnemyChaucer, Language, and Nation in the Hundred Years War$
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Ardis Butterfield

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574865.001.0001

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Fighting Talk

Fighting Talk

Chapter:
(p.111) 4 Fighting Talk
Source:
The Familiar Enemy
Author(s):

Ardis Butterfield (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574865.003.0004

uses the vituperative mid‐century ballade exchange between Philippe de Vitry and Jehan de le Mote, in which Philippe accuses Jean, a Hainuyer working for Edward III, of being an English traitor, as a focus for a broader consideration of the language of invective and ‘national’ identity in the period. After a section discussing nation through the eyes of Deschamps and also its university and trading connotations, the chapter turns to Deschamps's famous ballade extolling Chaucer as a ‘grant translateur’. It argues that it participates in this larger cross‐channel dialogue, and that it is a subtle articulation of praise and insult, playing on the witty, mutually condemning admiration (or mutually congratulatory contempt) of the Vitry‐Mote exchange. Deschamps registers a new sense of the impact of war on the cultural meanings of French for both insular and continental writers.

Keywords:   Philippe de Vitry, Jehan de le Mote, Hainaut, Edward III, Deschamps, Chaucer, ‘grant translateur’, ballade, nation, trade

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