E491 JOACHIM DU BELLAY QUESTIONS

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Assigned: from The Defence and Illustration of the French Language (281-90).

From The Defence and Illustration of the French Language (1549), Book 1, Chapters 1-7; Book 2, Chapters 3-4.

1. What distinction between nature and language does du Bellay offer? How does this distinction reflect his fundamental hopes for human culture? (281)

2. How does du Bellay recalibrate the traditional view of Roman power, or imperium? How might this reworking be described as a precursor of modern "comparative culture" and ideological critiques of imperialism? (282-83)

3. Why, according to du Bellay, isn't sixteenth-century French as rich in resources as Latin? What allowed Latin to become such a remarkably supple and powerful language? (284-85)

4. How does du Bellay characterize the strength of the French language? What do French writers still need to do? Why isn't translating even the best ancient texts into French enough? (285-86)

5. What advice does du Bellay offer young poets? And what kinds of poetry does he set forth as best suited to advance the development of a truly "French" poetry? (288-89)

Edition: Leitch, Vincent B., ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. 1st ed. New York: Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-97429-4.