The point of departure for this talk is the controversial hypothesis that Les Œuvres de Louise Labé was not the work of a woman author, but rather a literary hoax by a group of male poets. Rather than weighing in on this on-going polemic, however, Krause asks to what extent the conditions underlying the Labé hypothesis apply more generally to works from this period, including those works whose authorship is deemed authentic. If authors are made rather than born, what, exactly made an author an author in early modern France? Wherein did authorship reside? Within the book? Or beyond in, for instance, an "authorial intention"? In short, what was an author in the first century of print culture, when authors often found themselves working in close collaboration with others in the production of books? The focus of Krause's intervention will be Rabelais's Tiers Livre, the moment when Rabelaisian authorship of the Pantagruel cycle was ostensibly stabilized. Tracking the author in this way leads to peritextual spaces—in particular, to the title page, where François Rabelais is named as author.
Professor of French Studies at Brown University, Virginia Krause is the author of Idle Pursuits (2003) and Witchcraft, Demonology, and Confession (2015) as well as co-editor (with Christian Martin and Eric MacPhail) of Jean Bodin's De la démonomanie des sorciers (2016). She is currently working on the rise of the novel in sixteenth-century France.
Sponsored by the Department of French Literature, Thought, and Culture