International Machaut Society
Unfortunately, no complete introductory guide to the poetry
and music of Guillaume de Machaut now exists. A thorough codicological,
bibliographical, and musicological treatment (in outline form) can be
found in Lawrence Earp, Guillaume de Machaut: A Guide to Research
(New York: Garland, 1995). This indispensable work of reference for
music and literary scholars alike is annually updated in the pages of Ymaginer,
the newsletter of the International Machaut Society.
An older, but still eminently useful examination of all the
narrative poems of Machaut can be found in William Calin, A Poet at
the Fountain: Essays on the Narrative Verse of Guillaume de Machaut
(Lexington: Kentucky UP, 1974). Some of this material may be found in
updated form in Calin's magisterial The French Tradition and the
Literature of Medieval England, a work that has the added advantage
of placing Machaut in the midst of the cross-channel tradition that his
For those who read French, Jacqueline Cerquiglini's "Un
Engin si Soutil": Guillaume de Machaut et l'écriture au xive siècle
(Geneva: Slatkine, 1985) likewise offers a sweeping view of Machaut's
writing in its contemporary context.
Machaut's poetry was first edited in the late 19th and early
20th century; during the last twenty-five years, however, many new
editions and English translations have appeared.
The lyric poetry is collected in V. Chichmaref, Guillaume
de Machaut: Poésies lyriques (Reprinted Geneva: Slatkine, 1973),
while the narrative works, except for the Prise d'Alexandrie
and the Voir Dit, are to be found in Ernest Hoepffner, Oeuvres
de Guillaume de Machaut (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1908-21).
Modern editions and English translations of Machaut's Prologue,
the two judgment poems, the Confort d'ami, the Fonteinne
amoureuse, the Dit dou Vergier have appeared in four
volumes by R. Barton Palmer in the Garland Library of Medieval
Literature from 1984-1993. Palmer and Daniel Leech-Wilkinson published
in the same series in 1998 an edition and translation of Machaut's Voir
Dit. An edition and translation of the Prise d'Alexandrie
by Palmer is due to appear in the Garland Library in 2001. James
Wimsatt and William Kibler edited and translated the Jugement
Behaingne and the Remede de Fortune in a 1988 volume for
the Chaucer Society, published by U of Georgia Press. Minette Gaudet
and Constance B. Hieatt edited and translated the Dit de l'alerion
for the U of Toronto Press in 1994.
Citations for other editions of the lyric and minor poems
can be found in Earp.
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