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Journal > Volumes > 35 (2004) / 3 (Autumn)
Early Modern Literary Communities: Madeleine Des Roches’s City of Women
Kendall B. Tarte
Wake Forest University

The poetry of Madeleine Des Roches (ca. 1520–87) exhibits a concern with literary community. In Ode 3, from the 1578/79 OEuvres, she draws on a rich tradition of writings about women and postulates a new community for women writers. The interest in community extends to her sources, which were written by members of important literary groups or which create fictional communities. Des Roches distinguishes herself from predecessors who include Louise Labé, Giovanni Boccaccio, and the Pléiade poets. This article argues in particular for Des Roches’s knowledge of Christine de Pizan’s Livre de la Cité des Dames; both authors reformulate the story of Carmentis to self-referential ends. Des Roches’s reworking of another source, Du Bellay’s “La Musagnoeomachie,” plays on images of urban architecture. Through these and other intertextual references, Des Roches figures herself within the text and presents a compelling argument in favor of both writing and community.

Pages: 751 - 769