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Advertising the Self in Renaissance France

Lemaire, Marot, and Rabelais
Scott Francis

BUY Cloth · 288 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9781644530061 · $70.00 · Apr 2019
BUY Paper · 288 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9781644530078 · $35.00 · Apr 2019
BUY Ebook · 288 pp. · ISBN 9781644530085 · $70.00 · Apr 2019

Advertising the Self in Renaissance France explores how authors and readers are represented in printed editions of three major literary figures: Jean Lemaire de Belges, Clément Marot, and François Rabelais. Print culture is marked by an anxiety of reception that became much more pronounced with increasingly anonymous and unpredictable readerships in the sixteenth century. To allay this anxiety, authors, as well as editors and printers, turned to self-fashioning in order to sell not only their books but also particular ways of reading. They advertised correct modes of reading as transformative experiences offered by selfless authors that would help the actual reader attain the image of the ideal reader held up by the text and paratext. Thus, authorial personae were constructed around the self-fashioning offered to readers, creating an interdependent relationship that anticipated modern advertising.

Distributed for the University of Delaware Press


"Its primary contribution is to show how authors and editors of the early modern period helped fashion both an 'authorial persona' and 'an ideal reader' in ways that bring to mind modern advertising techniques. This rich and well-documented study looks at three noteworthy authors from the French Renaissance—Jean Lemaire de Belges, Clément Marot, and François Rabelais—and argues persuasively that Renaissance 'self-fashioning' was often the result of conscious actions on the part of authors and editors. In this way, Advertising the Self in Renaissance France enriches our understanding of the concept of self-fashioning."

Michael Randall, Brandeis University, author of The Gargantuan Polity: On the Individual and the Community in the French Renaissance

About the Author(s): 

Scott Francis is Assistant Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

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