Added Lines and Missing Voices: A Reexamination of Machaut's Relationship to Auctoritas
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The poet and composer Guillaume de Machaut is unique in the fourteenth century for his massive complete-works volumes. However, a potentially anachronistic view of the poet-composer’s relation to auctoritas has developed in modern deliberations on Machaut. In this thesis I challenge these current notions. Beginning with a review of select secondary literature in Chapter II, I focus on the ways scholarly consensus has foregrounded an ultimately authoritative author persona at the exclusion of other agents involved in the compilation of Machaut’s works. In Chapter III I approach the question of authority from the perspective of Machaut’s own writing through a close reading of select narrative passages and embedded letters in the Livre dou Voir Dit. The analyses of four examples of later-added contratenors to select works by Machaut in the posthumous MS E (1390) are the focus of Chapter IV.