Publication details [#1097]

Nazarian, Cynthia. 2013. Du Bellay’s Petrarchan Politics: Violence and Imitation in the Olive and the Deffence. Modern Language Quarterly 74 (1) : 1–27. 27 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Durham: Duke University Press


The paper investigates imagery of violence in Joachim Du Bellay’s collection of sonnets L'Olive and in his protonationalist manifesto, the Deffence et illustration de la langue françoyse. The author focuses on the wide use of images of violence in Du Bellay's texts, with a view to exploring the wider political stakes of imitation in his works. In L'Olive, bloody images of mutilation and consumption of Italian sources, a re-elaboration of Petrarchism into an attack on Italy, portray French poetic and cultural superiority. Furthermore, both the sonnets and the manifesto target the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V, through metaphors of imperial conquest, looting, and war.