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The Discovery Of The Dialogue In Dutch Medieval Literature: A Discourse For Meditation And Disputation

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Chapter Summary

What is more important in life: money or happiness? This is the topic of a Dutch strophic disputation between a student and his master (dispitacie tusschen enen clerc ende sinen meester), surviving in a Brussels manuscript from 1410. A first witness to the diversity of Dutch medieval dialogues is the manuscript with the disputation on money and happiness. The Dutch translator claims to have found a book written by Seneca for a friend, as a remedy against all the bad fortune men may encounter. The Dutch text survives in more than twenty manuscripts and thirteen printed editions published before 1512. Although expressions like eender manyeren als van een dyalogus suggest the close connection of vernacular traditions to Latin literature, the dialogue has a special place in Dutch literary production of the (late) thirteenth century onwards.

Keywords: Brussels manuscript; Dutch medieval dialogues; Latin literature



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