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Better than a sack full of Latin: Anticlericalism in the Middle Dutch Dit es de Frenesie

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This article offers the first substantial survey of the Middle Dutch satire Dit es de Frenesie since the work of C.P. Serrure in the mid nineteenth century. It contests much of the conventional wisdom surrounding De Frenesie, challenging the poem's usual classification as an early boerde or fabliau. Instead it is argued that the text is an experimental work, which blends together elements of several satiric traditions without committing itself to any one. The implications of this maneuver and others within the text are considered, revealing the poem's clear sympathy with the newly educated and articulate laity. De Frenesie itself is appended in both the original Middle Dutch and an English verse translation.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leicester; 2: Fontys University of Professional Education


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