La traversée des sciences comme expérience humaine chez Christine de Pizan


  • Sarah Delale Université catholique de Louvain



In the premodern first-person narrative, and especially when the first-person narrators became characters themselves, did the authors believe that they could write about anything? Did they believe there were limits to the subjects they could address? Did the fact that they were characters themselves impose restrictions on the number of possible subjects, or did it increase them? The works of Christine de Pizan provide insight into the variety of subjects which could be addressed in medieval writings classified as scholarly. In Christine de Pizan’s work, the intention is for the reader to be able to identify with the character of the author-narrator, who shows limited understanding of the most complex scholarly subjects. The exploration of knowledge is considered to be an experience which directly engage the body and the senses. By imitating the attitude of her readers, their fears, and their difficulties in learning, the character of the author reassures her readership and embodies a mediating literary voice, a way of knowing which is educated without being overly intimidating. This type of author-character proved to be very effective in terms of its reception, but at times yielded surprising results.