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Guillaume de MachautSecretary, Poet, Musician$
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Elizabeth Eva Leach

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449338

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449338.001.0001

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Machaut Making

(p.82) 3 Creation
Guillaume de Machaut

Elizabeth Eva Leach

Cornell University Press

Some of the blame for the too easy mapping of fictional truth onto historical reality that derives from what we know about Machaut can be attributed to the mischievous manipulation of personal truth by the man himself. This chapter considers Machaut's presentation of his authorial persona by examining the Prologue to his works. This poem outlines a poetics within which Machaut's status as a poet and—perhaps more surprisingly, given the Prologue's lack of musical notation—a musician are central. In addition, the Prologue's paired images emphasize the wholeness of Machaut's book and the importance of making connections between its parts, leading the reader to appreciate a poetics that is as scribal as it is musical. The chapter goes on to explore the way in which Machaut linked his art, life, and truth through his own particular take on the necessity of composing in line with one's own sentement (emotional authenticity).

Keywords:   Prologue, sentement, poetics, musician, Guillaume de Machaut, poets, composers

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