He is constrained to put his precious book On the Trinity into the fire. The gesture corresponds to a second psychic castration of the philosopher who dares deal with theology. Gildas in Brittany. He goes to the West where Christians are worse than Eastern enemies of Christ. Abelard welcomes Heloise and her daughters soon called their sisters in the Paraclete. He is still in Saint-Gildas in Brittany. The other epistles would have been written or drafted, probably in the Paraclete, during the following years under the supervision of Heloise. He dies there on April Without their passionate endeavor, they would have been lost.
The following Remarks attest reception. Your ticket—selected at random—assigns you that chance. Abelard, the unknown, the surprise, who will get the twin ticket, 3 will be your dance partner. Your partner will be Abelard and you Heloise for the night prom. Some people may know those curious names by hearsay, somewhat like those of the famous, star-crossed, and ill-fated lovers, Romeo and Juliet, 4 Tristan and Isolde,5 Dido and Aeneas, or Pyramus and Thisbe, among others.
The theme of forbidden love ending in suicide has inspired numerous composers. So, meanwhile, at the other side of the table where the tickets wait for you, when luck falls on you, man, at once you indeed become Abelard. Friends will surely either openly or secretly, laugh. They are possibly remembering what they were once told about this philosopher, a monk, Abelard who abused a young pupil, Heloise, a wretched orphan girl, and made her with child. The perfume of an ardent lovemaking between this Abelard and his sassy little schoolgirl under the eyes of a 3 A small tessera or tessella got for participating to the game.
The similarities are not accidental. The least comparison would lead us far afield. Heloise should have been white, she was blackened. A myth is forming. Often, myths stem from a real drama. Uneasiness, akin to a slight loathsomeness before taking the role of a pedophile may develop in you, man of an evening, facing the perspective of affronting a new lamb. Among those who condemn, there will actually be only a few who would rejoice if fate would reproduce similar conditions. Yet, how many would secretly appreciate benefiting from such an opportunity? Ticket in hand, you may think that you stand before a wild and exciting adventure, so advantageous that it will not happen twice.
Yet, if fate is in your favor and the affair seems to turn at your advantage, be careful and do not rejoice too much. The real story has nothing in common with the composition that romances have recounted everywhere, in academic seminars as well as in city bars. You will get drunk in the vapors of a myth, yet not released from the danger of castration. They are not those described in the philosophical romance written by Marquis de Sade at the end of the nineteenth century or similar stories. A Philosophical Romance. With an engraved frontispiece: [Justine]. Paris: Isidore Liseux, Sade entitled his romance Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue.
Over centuries, the calamities of two friends, Abelard and Heloise, have sarcastically become the Misfortunes of Lovemaking. Abelard and Heloise were not lewd lovers, but companions of Saint Sebastian, i. The whole assistance of the ball and yourself might be ravished. Some do not read, but still know. It is therefore understandable that, if, having a complete misconception of the case, they may consider you a lucky dancer; yet they are afraid of what awaits you. How could it be otherwise? Translations are on their side. And you will find yourself in a stalemate.
Other translations are also definitely on the side of a romance. Therefore, being not properly understood, they are subjects of many interpretations. Masters in arts cannot do the entire job. They are at a loss when they have to trust a translation in which a few words lead the translator down the wrong road. The whole story is distorted from the start, while its springs, admittedly secret—yet how obvious to an attentive and stubborn mind—have not been laid bare.
He has not understood the spirit of the story of these monks, either. Michael T.
L'Ordre de Fontevraud en Angleterre au XIIe s.
Clanchy has read with extreme care both the Historia calamitatum and all references to Abelard contained in various chronicles and correspondences of the time St. The result of ten years of seminary, this rereading makes each sentence, one might almost say each word [that is not correctly translated] irrelevant. But history should be nauseated of novels and be more serious. He makes her, instead of a grief-stricken teen, a nymphomaniac spinster. Curiously, the mischief is a bit the same as the mischief that has damaged, in certain circles, the historical figure of Joan of Lorraine who, according to some authors, owed her success to the devil.
Unless you consider all autobiographers liars, Abelard should be the best informed on the circumstances of the drama. In my opinion, he should be much better received than any other commentator. Abelard first regards this hardly fourteen-year-old student, Heloise, exceptionally brilliant and extremely miserable with kind-heartedness little by little transformed in an exceptional love that ends in a love for a creature especially sent by God, an angel, to save him.
There are so many kinds of love; this one is not definable; it belongs to the mystery of love. There are now people who claim that she is much older. The trouble with this kind of joke is that it is taken literally by good students. Should probably not possible to bring something new.
A medieval Life. From Theological Studies. The evil, once done, is unforgivable. The French are now too busy elsewhere to contest. Eventually, the evil is worse than what we may fear because the infringement Sir Clanchy commits at the register of civil status will not change the opinion of discriminating readers, but the suspicion that he emits hits the credibility of the historian.
For it is Abelard who best knows the small and unfortunate Heloise and who tells us that she is quite young and miserable—she adds that nobody may recompose her story without weeping; it's not the usual condition of a girl in love. Scholars break into discredit. For my part, even if he is not alone to assert it, the Patron of the London Medieval Society Sir Clanchy has no right to present things as if the Socrates of Gaul Abelard were a liar.
Peter [the Venerable] implies that she must have been at least the same age as himself, if not slightly older. The tradition that she was born in , and thus was only a teenager when she met Abelard, is a pious fabrication from the seventeenth century, without any firm foundation. In , she was more likely to have been around twenty-one years old, while Abelard was then thirty-six.
Maria Goretti and St. But there is something worse. In case of rape, not recognizing the horror, as it so often occurs, can be as destructive as the crime itself. It reaches not just one person, but a wide public; not to mention that it contributes to an abject omerta. In the twelfth century, nobody pretends that Heloise is a spinster. On the contrary, she is known through the whole of little France as an extraordinary learned girl —alas, she did not know everything a girl has to learn soon—not so much because she already knows a lot of literary works, but because she, a fourteen-year-old maiden, so young, knows so much.
She is a child prodigy. Incidentally, men should realize that girls are often more advanced than boys and that their precocity is apparent not only in the sexual field. Mews and Mr. It gives the sublime love that bound Abelard and Heloise this profane character, of which I will try to show the ineptness. Their love is out of all carnal bounds. Their love is more than love; it is a Ciceronian friendship between two brothers, and, at the same time, a Benedictine brotherhood.
The revelation that plagiarism in the academic world is an insidious disease, almost endemic and somewhat difficult to be detected has been sometimes reported. It must include all the servile imitations from the word of a master received as a gospel. He has pronounced and henceforth the faithful believe. Books are written about famous people whose works have undergone several translations or interpretations. Authors, commenting on the affair, base their stellar presentations on the translation they have carefully selected and to which they remain faithful.
Yet a translation, whatever it may be, is not the original. A translation is a personal choice. Its subjectivity must be always scrutinized. Most often, a translation is serendipitously a good translation, literally and literarily. Yet it is only a translation. The question is why this one has been maybe not chosen, but accepted as the best to suit readers' mood. Consequently, what authors are transcribing is inevitably secondhand for what counts is the way the message is accepted. Sentences are correct; style is sometimes at least as beautiful as the original.
If the language is seducing, if everything is present, the translation may be called perfect. Yet it always lacks something that only the original may offer: an atmosphere, a certain je ne sais quoi. It is the combination of an underlying message carried with style and choice of words, what makes that the result of a translation may never surpass the original.
I try to expose the result of dismembering an old Latin text so that translation will be more easily improved. In numbering it and its attempt of translation, I hope to facilitate the personal and ultimate evaluation, i. The present remarks are examples of this analytical exercise. The message is then floating in the air, very near you.
It is the moment when you must urgently receive the key to open your sensibility. You must recognize the ghost rider whispering durch Nacht und Wind11—what precisely a child will feel—and listen to his message. With translation alone, it is not always possible to follow the true plot. The context may be facilely and progressively diverted through a word or an expression, which, if first appealing, becomes more and more misleading.
But, in most cases, any presupposition may exercise the major influence on the tone of the storytelling. Of course, most translations are good, and, for what they say, they can be corrected incessantly by players of goodwill. They should endeavor to not straightaway follow a too easy path and listen to the ministers of the temple. Hence, the receivers must help to the transmission and should be helped in their reception of the message. A translation must be accompanied by notes explaining the difficulties encountered concerning vocabulary and syntax.
In this perspective, those who have time and curiosity to read both the original and its translation simultaneously, line by line, will be delighted beyond their wishes. They are in to add personal notes. Finally, awakening, they can get the key to understand the plot and perceive the underlying message. They will be like a thief who knows the safe combination, rich in an instant. Here, in the case of the Correspondence—a difficult piece for advanced readers —what is the key? I insist on what I consider a breakthrough for the final interpretation of the whole work.
Let us accept that it has been hidden, voluntarily hidden, by necessity concealed, and, what is exceptional in this case, by the emitters themselves. Facing scandal and life-threatening condition, they opt for quite another strategy: they duck into obedience and submission.
By reproducing in writing the obscene gestures of the masters of the Temple, they try to make us believe that they themselves have committed their crime. In their innermost conviction, however, they forge the ultimate consolation of the afflicted: What a godsend for the miserable sinners who would have followed their natural human instinct! Here we enter a chapter of mystical high that it is not given to everyone to understand. How can I receive the oeuvre if I miss the origin and the essence of the message? The key well in hand, everyone who is of goodwill will more easily open the secret cabinet.
Immediately, the lights will turn on so that finally the whole audience might see something real in the scary old theater. It is not necessary to know Latin. Just listen, compare, and learn to translate, most often just a word. Dictionaries do not give you a sure definition; they help you dream and develop your affinities. Their vocabulary is slipping on the wet floor of time. Your trip through the centuries is a game; you scrabble. Nonethelesse, it is inexcusable not to participate. The discriminative perception of a vehement event prompting enthusiasm or excitement— exsultation— joy or anger , becomes less and less apparent in discourse and translation.
There are two steps: people are furiously excited thrilled through by anger , or they rejoice. Isaiah 9. Polyglott Bible. But, syntax also participates. Reading even more carefully, you will overlook neither the adverbs videlicet or scilicet that are part of the sarcastic style, yet mostly ignored, nor the mysterious ampersands that we do not always know how to replace. Ampersands are sometimes rendered more explicitly when it makes sense. We estimate that most commentators have not carefully read original Latin, or they read it too quickly.
To correct this blunder, I have undertaken a literal translation of the first printed text; a provisory translation. I present the results of this difficult task in a separate book—a textbook—that must be used for reference. It is most important in a retrial. In fact, because the present remarks are directly related to this numbering, this textbook is indispensable.
Just now, there is a lot on our plate. See further.
La Trinité érémitique bretonne
I have simultaneously published two books. As a literal English text is somewhat rude—even worse when segmented and put juxtalinearly to Latin—as it is often the case in a literal translation which does not exist elsewhere , I give out another book containing only the continuous text of the English literal translation brought up to date for making it a more pleasant reading: Abelard Correspondence with Heloise. CreateSpace, Amazon.
Furthermore, I eventually discovered that it was growing prior to the physical connection under the same roof with her new master. I perceived the quality of education and affection that this religious educator, father Fulbert, had given to his pupil Heloise. I understood that he was called Fulbert, but this was not his real name.
It was a first sign of mistrust. Nobody has known or revealed his true name. On tombstones, the same Christian name, Fulbertus or Hubertus, was discovered several times, and commentators stated therefore that stones speak. In history, even stones should not be trusted. That is the main physical and human event. It is startling. Is it a psychological barrier of men? But women are not interested, either. It's all too clear; it's all too simple. Really, for most of us imbued with the hit literature, only the philosopher Abelard can be the procreator of a bastard in a virgin.
Because of his exemplary continence and his revolutionary ideas, he will be chosen as the ideal scapegoat who will permit the church to protect one of his representant. He—for me and my friends—the good man, will be slandered more than a hundred criminals. The scaffolding of such a mystification demonstrates the skill of the criminals. On the contrary, some find in it the demonstration that Heloise wants only to be free to lead a disorderly life. Videlicet, a bastard is not her main preoccupation, evidently not. Oppositely, the fact that all signs accusing the false canon are present should not escape the best commentators.
Yet everything happens as if the main affair of writers of all stripes would still be to save the purple robe of certain men of the clergy. But why, alas, is one of its members so fiercely defended? If he is acquitted, this only proves that there are in Rome rascals like him.
Cicero: Letters to Atticus. Each time, the detective shall restart from scratch, and therefore we all have fun reading this thriller anew. Latin deconstruction will serve to achieve my goal, which is the rehabilitation of two admirable friends of old. What better recommendation should I make than to warn the public to be pious in front of the injustice done to a couple of holy human beings, our brothers and sisters? Read this story with great care, and take the best of their teaching. My comments in the Remarks section will enlighten the readers about certain words and observations that permit to see things otherwise than practice imposes.
Furthermore, they will introduce them to the reading of clandestine letters. I recommend having the text of the bilingual Correspondence in hand. My literal translation is indispensable because it is numbered and because all of my notes and footnotes refer to one number of the text or the other.
These texts are like ancient epic poetry in verses. If they lack the accompaniment music of the original text, something is missing. Each is reputed to be better than the other, but, sad to say, they will not give the exact reference, and they are in no way a true literal translation. Clanchy and his acolytes, I would not fail to highlight the difficulties of interpretation of this monument of world literature that the Correspondence is.
Facing so much misunderstanding, I started trying to see what drove such fantastic friends, as Heloise and Abelard are, to say things that normally cannot be pronounced. Those most dishonorable things should remain hidden among the family. My work consists of excavating the Correspondence, as with a shovel. With shoestring, I decided to make an attempt to translate it anew—while giving everybody the means to easily correct me—and explore the reasons of such an unpacking.
I did it with devotion, and I would be happy to help console souls of goodwill who want to share the pain of numerous Heloise. T 1—3. The present remarks should support any new interpretation of the tragedy. I've thoroughly examined words and style used by both Abelard and Heloise. In the process of a detailed inspection, my opinion has been reinforced: the exposure of the drama must be fully renewed.
A quite new reception should be presented to the public. A triple father in sum! Most people familiar to the story of Abelard and Heloise are embarked in the model of a hypersexual relationship they systematically apply to these all too famous lovers, Abelard and Heloise. Be they scholars, researchers or writers of every stripe, they are all in a state of mind tormented by the torrential waters of sexual thinking. As if there was no other topic of interest. It cultivates them. Yet, after reading my objections, it should reconsider its opinion before the court of history.
Actually, it is painful to read, and even most disgustful to have to spread out 17 The public should have in hands the twin, yet indispensable volume entitled Abelard and Heloise. A critical explanation is given in the Introduction. It will find there the first six epistles in original Latin first print in face an English translation that aims to be as accurate as possible. Both Latin text and English version are numbered in 4, items. The remarks that follow have been suggested during translation. They are not only wrong, but also incredibly tendentious in gladly promoting their own instability.
They pay no heed to the chances of spiritual love tinted with romance between two intellectuals of high level. The case is not isolated. Concerning the uninitiated, those who are not acquainted with the drama surreptitiously disclosed in the Correspondence, I highly recommend them to consult, at first and principally—if they really want to know the most reasonable version of the affair—the introduction that is found in the just mentioned book of my literal translation. For new comers, I forced me to summarize here and there my version of the events. Then, everybody might evaluate which of the two versions—the trivial one, everywhere presented as humdrum routine work with inexcusable intention and stubbornness, or my own perception of the affair—develops the most plausible plot.
They will probably find that mine is the only one that holds up.
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Of course, nothing is more woeful. True monks are not only accepting the condition of mastered sex, they quest for its abnegation. Abelard is clear upon that. He complains Paul; he sympathizes with Origen. He practices this asceticism almost naturally. All he says about it is sarcastic self-abasement. On Abelard's velleity to actuate his virility, the certification of Heloise's pregnancy operates more surely than castration. He uses a psycho-therapeutic trick. He attempts to divert her from her obsession. More he will suffer, more Heloise will care him and less she will think about her woe.
In the first words of his story of their misfortunes, he states that he will give us an example, their example, a good example that shall call forth great emotion in normal hearts. Those who are not contaminated by an overly sexual report will be amazed by the rigor of the exposition of the arguments I set forth in the present collection of Remarks written to uphold the new exegesis. Notwithstanding, they will not fail to keep the necessary quantum of realism persistently included in the terrific beauty of human love.
Many things remain unknown, what makes much silence. If my demonstration may sometimes appear over subtle, or too rigid or too refined, I beg pardon to the readership. I try to convince the great of the world not only by facts, but also by words. They still are scandalously celebrated for their wanton lifestyle. Yet they deserve neither the malicious misrepresentation of their behavior countenance 19 nor the discredit thrown upon their pitiful love affair.
With the resentment of the cruelest injustice, they have suffered a wild fate, considering it from a Christian perspective, as a final penance 18 Abelard first tempted to solace pregnant Heloise, the unhappiest of the girls in taking her in his arms and giving her kisses which nobody else could give her. See T and ff. The Correspondence, as far as we know, was written around Heloise entered Argenteuil in , in her sixteen year.
Just because of the presence of sex—sex, as we shall see, reduced primarily to an illegitimate pregnancy attributed to them—this story has been completely turned in reverse. Admittedly, numerous shadows persist that should be kept in reserve for future inspectors and readers. However, when reading now this pathetic story, it is impossible to fail being convinced that commiseration should be the dominant feeling, and not pornographic delectation.
Commiseration is an instrument indispensable to follow our courageous monks along their way. Thus, arrangements or compositions from previous letters are not excluded. Modifications could have been ordered by superiors, for better or for worse. Several ambiguities, even some contradictions in the text, may be explained by the intervention of successive assistants or instructors.
Yet contradiction may be due to uncertainties of the elaborate text and obviously to all that has not been reproduced. One of the best examples is the attribution of the turpitude—sexual assaults—that is fairly often lurking in a family, to the newcomer Abelard, while depravity is the shameful life led by the canon. This is the difficulty several commentators encounter. As a matter of fact, the disorders are until now readily, commonly and systematically attributed to Abelard and Heloise because they are living near one another.
In reality, the observation concerns the wanton life and the satanic practice of the canon which is so surreptitiously reported. Such a judgment is usually attributed quite early, at the crossroad of the beginning of the reading. If subjective opinions make readers imprudent, weighting unequally in the assessment of the facts before their exposition, left or right, the whole plot will eventually prove fallacious. Or the reader is under influence, having already read some rumor of a circulating story or heard some clues, or he does not lend care of the fact that someone, precisely at this crossroad, has deliberately reversed the direction indicators.
It is also possible that he be desirous to only read what he wants to read. My remarks have the purpose of introducing a little objectivity in the appreciation of the events.
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Despite all the condescension that I could show in cases of misreading, I have to admit that most often, through a too-quick first reading, equivocal expressions will challenge me where Latin is not always and not entirely responsible. The wiles of this Atlantic Breton are close to those of Ulysses the Mediterranean. Among the numerous equivocal sentences, to elect and appreciate the best suited for the comprehension of the plot is mandatory.
Some statements are quite clear. Readers should try to recognize where the wisecracks of the protagonists are. Little by little, then, they will become aware of the real object of this curious correspondence. The allusion to this seamy event is sometimes of great finesse.
Abelard, to put the public in guard, adds then, as a parting shot i. Dante Gabriel Rossetti has illustrated the theme. We are in full Socratic irony. In this statement, one thing is said and its opposite implied. In omnem quam poterat. Generally speaking, the example Abelard wants to deliver has not been understood. The version still presented nowadays is too one-sided in favor of love as physical exercise. I want to overthrow this established order, starting with a careful reading of the text that remains at the beginning of the seventeenth century.
An essay of literal translation into English accompanies the Latin text almost word for word. It should function like a guidebook that would itself be the monument to be ceaselessly revisited and improved. The conventional acceptance of the Correspondence is strongly established as erotic, particularly since the intervention of Bussy-Rabutin. Even place the liability for her misfortune to the innocent.
Actually, this intentionally subtle remark already concerns the relation between instructor Abelard and his fledgling private student who has a problem. But, ultimately, it's clearly an understatement. Abelard comes to Heloise's rescue while knowing he also comes to liberate the inseminator, canon Fulbert, from crime, since he will accept to be his scapegoat, volens, nolens, i.
His whole life is consecrated to Heloise's redeeming. He prided himself in libertine literature. For centuries, members of the clergy could not read these profane epistles without suspecting a personal attack. They get wind of this ironically insulting writing denouncing the pedophilic activity of a priest. Their side, literary men emphasize the bargain of finding a young girl so evidently ready to offer her body to the devil residing in a new wave philosopher. However, if the first are right, the latter are mistaken.
The dialectician Abelard is a future monk. The theme is extremely buoyant. For almost all proponents, it is all too clear that these letters contain something fishy and explosive. It is evident that his mention is compromising for both, thus also for the representative of the church, obviously for quite opposite reasons.
The dazzling star of the audiences, the philosopher Abelard, becomes the alleged father of Heloise's misbegotten child. He still is, in the eyes of the faithful. Yet nothing is less curious about this arbitrary attribution—not done at random, but intentionally! The child appears logically nothing less than the result of furious lovemaking. He is proof of the sexual debauchery of a teacher with his student, and not just anyone. Nobody is concerned by the stupendous pregnancy that makes the youngster Heloise supposedly mad of joy, while being in reality very angry. Yet it is from Heloise's pregnancy that the drama starts.
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Quite the opposite, we see the laic secular monk, Abelard, trying to live alone throughout his life, following St. It shows a man fleeing the crowd, saying, Omnia mea mecum porto I carry with me all my property. So this strange man, Abelard, monk as much as philosopher, follower of Socrates, Aristotle and Saint Augustine, presents special characteristics that distinguish him from the Greek authors who he admires.
Deeply Christian, he adds to their reflections and injunctions, those of Origen beginning of the third century AD and Jerome halfway between the third and fourth centuries AD. He has no companion present. He is withdrawn in himself for prayer Luke Abelard meets authentic false monks when, Abbot of Saint-Gildas, he sees that they have concubines and children.
See T Strictly speaking, he is dazzled by the high moral code and deportment of the Fathers of the Christian Church. Very successful in his schools and filled with material goods, he enjoys great respect in the world. Prosperity flusters and riles mind's vigor viridity. As great saints, Abelard swiftly changes his style of life. In the literature, this remarkable conversion has hardly been reported as it should have been.
From fashionable philosophy, Abelard moves to a Franciscan brotherhood avant la lettre. The exercise of charity will make him join the demands of his monk's ideal toward the necessities of the human condition. Mercy, to the bitter end, and poverty, at first intolerable35 will be henceforth what animates him. It must be recorded, if necessary, that on his path, he meets an exceptional temptation under the form of Heloise, brilliant and desperate, a most explosive mixture.
How far he could sexually withstand this seductive creature is one of those thorns of contention between supporters of their own conviction. She is not only supreme, but also in an emotional misery. T There are also strange similarities between Heloise and Clare of Assisi — Begging, he blushes. Nothing less certain than what has happened between them sexually!
The health problems of the student, Heloise, can only be inferred from the burnout of the master. He realizes he has fallen into an ambush. It takes her until the last moment to get the evidence. He retires in a kind of cell. Chagrin on the one hand and vexations on the other will not cease. He will be tormented during most of his existence.
His project to help faith through dialectic inquiry and other philosophical means is considered revolutionary by the adepts of pure theology. He is declared heretic. Let us remember also that he is a newcomer and a foreigner who comes to throw ideas of reform in this pot of crabs that the ecclesiastical preuniversity Paris is.
Moreover, as a follower of Jerome, his reformative ideas of a necessarily high moral attitude of the clergy, monks in particular, make him a troublemaker. His ideas do not correspond to the prevailing materialistic mores of the elites of his time either. He wants to restore the preeminence of spirituality for the glory of humanity. God especially creates Heloise to rescue Abelard.
He even makes that she be pregnant in order that Abelard may complete his conversion from man to monk, completely abandoning sex for spirit. From T on. The girl should admit that she was pregnant. As, at the end of his life, in a Clunian monastery. He is vilified for this relationship with a schoolgirl— an apparent but living contradiction indeed—whose pregnancy can only be seen as the unfortunate outcome of a debauchery. His undeclared experience of a new gender through pure presence of body and mind, an apparently impossible exception—in the sight of adepts of routine—a Gordian knot, appears central to exemplify his cultural importance.
In this sense, as an exceptional life experience, surely worth considering, it remains an exception. God, he writes, would have not punished them when they would have hotly fornicated outside marriage,43 while He would have severely punished let us admit by castration one of them two—one who deemed it the less—when, married, fornication is permitted.
Heloise corrects the first interpretation writing further while we were the chastest in unconsummated marriage! Even if this is considered a most caustic sarcasm, as it should be, the point is more than provocative; it is blasphemous. A copist dare not go so far. Heloise recognizes that her expressions may appear raw, but they express her thoughts. Her case merits to be added to the long series of virgins voluntarily disfigured to escape the blade of men. The experience that Abelard seems to risk—because it is not pure charity—is in the air of the time. He also wants, supposedly, to live side by side with the woman he is fond of, a specimen of another human race, and to share the weakness of her viridity viriditas: vigor in the prime of age.
But this should not be forgotten: he is principally moved to an act of charity that may appear disproportionate. He will be rescuing a girl victim of sexual acts. To better attract their prey, some predators do not hesitate to put on a chasuble, a smock or other reassuring outer vestment. Following scenes of shameless rape, this young teen is pregnant. There is some appearance.
Chicago, University of Chicago Press, , P. Is it a disease or dysfunction, intentional or unconscious? The heroine of the novel, Lasthenie, a young girl who slowly dyes because, shameful of having been made pregnant by a pretended Capuchin who visited her, makes repeated self-removals of blood slow suicide. Her honor must be reestablished, first, especially because the bastard will otherwise be incestuous. As compensation, he will be allowed to care for the unfortunate wretch with dedication and devotion, gently leading her toward atonement of sins she confesses.
Nevertheless, in the meantime, this literary gymnastics does not prevent the shame of the innocent virgin, now the blackened virgin, from remaining unbearable; and the scorn on her teacher, Abelard, the giver of lessons, will be immense. Here there is no consideration of sex. See T , , , , , , and What can further confuse us, readers of today, is the too-easily- broken countenance of both friends and future monks who do not react against the twists of fate.
They seem flippant. Worse, both seem to testify against themselves, as if they would feel obliged to advance themselves in the dock on trial or under intense scrutiny. On the one hand, their malicious request cannot go unnoticed. On the other hand, without the armament of dialectical refinement, their message could not have crossed so many centuries. Even twisted, distorted, and almost unrecognizable, it is there and waiting to be appreciated and restored.
The comic of history, if we can say so, is that if we may enjoy its reading, it is due to the fact that the document has been preserved largely because of the scandal of the invented sexual affair. Not only do they insist on repeating the old salacious interpretation, but they also rub it in. For not losing everything, they prefer to change the age of the victim. To have a kid as a result of inveterate sex sessions with a mature maid servant, this is no more heinous crime of pedophilia, it's bad luck.
Therefore, readers will never be wary enough in examining single words and their context. When, in a deliberately unabashed manner, Abelard almost successfully suggests in half words that, since it is so commonly reported, he may be the supposed seducer of the virgin schoolgirl, the opportunity should not be missed without concluding imprudently that he has made her with child, a fact that nobody should have normally imagined possible, but that this libidinous and hypocrite philosopher of God has definitively perpetrated.
Yet he will never talk about his possible participation in the crime. He never articulates a word suggesting that he may have been the father of this fetus. It's always the others who say it. When he goes to Fulbert and, as he wants to let us suppose, proposes to marry Heloise, he only hopes for peace.
Like the ingenuous Ulysses, he invents the secret marriage pretending—lying—that the secrecy is for protecting his reputation, even though it is too late for him. Once readers become aware of the rhetorical dimensions of the text, they should acknowledge, not immediately perhaps, and maybe not without reluctance, the sad truth.
They are either misled by the convenience of the speech—for the official version is not necessarily impossible—or they are not all too ready to be suspicious about the consistent excessiveness of the official report drawn up in haste. On the other hand, the hybris 50 with 49 T and ff. They end up believing them at face value. The situation is then as though the readers themselves had to decide where the truth is.
But they are not able to make a choice. They follow the inspiration of the interpreters. At this stage, having hardly read part of the book, it is difficult to remain critical. They may only believe what priests called translators offer. The first influence is often determinant. Only a few read twice the same book because they are disturbed by the simplicity of the narrative. They begin to think about the fact that if it's so simple why the author needed to write it.
There must be another explanation, especially since the book is so severely condemned and proscribed. Admitting the pseudosincerity of his discourse, they range themselves on the side of these exceptional lovers. They eventually conclude that the book entitled Correspondence is an intolerable lampoon. Coming so early after the events, it is difficult not to see in it a denunciation carefully written out. It would have been too much hoping it would not be understood.
Too many professional enemies are involved. Religious writers in particular will never accept that this booklet is only an attempt to comfort a lovesick girl. Alas, we see that through centuries reading the Correspondence, shockingly vicious arguments emerge from eager commentators, particularly negative against Abelard, each one supporting his own concern for his own church.
Thus, the burlesque story which consists of three letters from Abbott Abelard—once the most famous master of the Parisian schools—and three others from his friend—still considered his mistress— is principally evaluated by those able to read it, the Latin clergy above all, as an insidious and devastating attack against one of the prerogatives of the clergy: the abuse of children.
Who is concerned better understands the innuendo than the innocent one. Most readers don't understand the cause of the failure of love. They usually say that this is a normal reaction to a disappointed love. For them, Abelard is a cad and Heloise a girl in desperate need of lovemaking! She, the victim is simply nymphomaniac! They also see and will always see the primary cause of the fiasco in the castration which however is purely anecdotal.
Moreover it happens at the end of the story. In , five years after entering the Abbey of Saint-Denis, Abelard—already severely undermined by his castration—is condemned as heretic in Soissons. Not only the philosopher smells sulfur because he dares ask questions to the breed of theologians, but his companion—a star—already enjoys some perverse admiration for her sex appeal. She pronounces—and soon writes—obscene words. What devil may push this abbess to disclose her privacy that hitherto, normally, should be kept private? That way, she represents the unbridled sexual craving that escapes heralds of high demeanor, and which everybody writers, editors, and readers tends to appropriate.
There are centuries of poets and eroticists exploiting this smoking story. The disproportionate example of lust that is attributed to them legitimizes the excesses of others. For the public, whether their love results in delighted approval or detestation, their writings will long keep the outlook of a forbidden and condemned reading. A vicious circle quickly forms. The vicious circle always starts again.
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Fortunately, the more the documents are condemned, the more their survival is warranted. But still, the effect of prohibition is huge because, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, there is not much remaining of the manuscripts of the philosopher and of his Correspondence with his sister. All of the manuscripts found, at that time, were collected, colligated and printed for the first time in The Correspondence occupies the first place in the volume for it was considered the most precious document. This book of Opera was immediately and relentlessly persecuted.
Heloise was not condemned. Therefore, it was a total commercial collapse. It seems almost forgotten. Those who now still look to the Latin text consult in particular reproductions of the nineteenth century. She is spared because she is considered perfectly adequate for what the public demands. In doing so, public and church see the spectrum of their own criminalization fade and even disappear.
Have the lovers not written, in their confessions—the famous Correspondence—details about their sexual performance? Since the Correspondence, fornication along with castration systematically accompanies the poor wretch given to lewdness, Abelard. What an example, and what a legitimation! Nobody dares suspect, in any way, the alleged canon. Sexual fornication and its consequence, the pregnancy of the young girl, do not constitute a surprise coming from those philosophers who are declared heretics and sexually perverted.
Priests and theologians are not suspected. Their crimes fall silent for fear of having to face the wrath of God. They are not to be touched. Curiously enough, the protagonists do not become religiously defrocked. They go the other way; they frock, becoming monks of great virtue and consideration. Not a sacrifice and not a punition, but an obligatory reaction, accepted as a normal evolution of two spirits. Abelard is still designated enemy number one of the church, altogether an abominable heretic and an awful enjoyer. So winners write history.
Centuries have only added spicy details. Their lustful life meets everybody. In this respect, we are still living in the past. Through hundreds of commentaries, articles and books—and now blogs—more than one reader is now sure to know—or believes to know what the official interpretation promulgates. It is accepted as an act of faith. Unswervingly installed, it makes any contradictor heretic. The relevant literature has included this lamentable story in the field of forbidden loves. It will be most difficult to get out of there.
The love story is ranked among the romance novels for everyone already knows how the book is going to end. Her private master loves her and she overflows of joy when she gets pregnant, so there is no surprise at all over the origin of the sperm. He alarms the neighbors all around. Everybody is satisfied from the explanation he gives, so common and so evident.
But this is no romance. It would not be worth writing. All writers interested in the subject speak about the love exploits of the fictitious couple whose story is no more theirs, but a collection of phantasmagorias. For, about lovemaking, there is nothing to see. The stories of sex orgies attributed to the couple are still making booksellers happy because they delight customers and books are sold.
Yet, they cannot be substantiated any longer. The plot is not only generously accepted, without any other perspective, it is enriched by the treasures of insatiable imaginations. Easily indoctrinated, almost poisoned, the readership in turn resists any modification of the official point of view. The adventure has been constructed and now forms an enduring legend. It is not far from that of Don Quixote de la Mancha, narrated by Miguel de Cervantes centuries later. Thus, de Bussy-Rabutin set the tone for all of the commonplace events— 52 French woman of letters Paris, — Alas, it seems that they have taken root since that time.
Gilson observes the mental and emotional processes that could have animated the couple of sorrowful countenance, but his theories neither reveal nor take substance from the very marrow of the affair that is Heloise's pregnancy. Scholars keep in line with a perspective that is biased from the outset. After Gilson, academic experts and writers of all stripes are continuously induced to follow the wrong path of excessive lovemaking led to a bewildering situation after the surprise of pregnancy and the castration.
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The origin of the wondrous and amazing pregnancy of the girl Heloise does not impress them at all. It is time to realize that our goodwill has been abused. The knowledge that people have acquired about the lives of these two saints of the twelfth century, Abelard and Heloise, is corrupted because the story is presented in the simplest and grossest manner to credulous people who believe that love cannot be anything but a sexual attraction.
And they are happy with that. A young pregnant girl is in love with her private teacher. With a crime in a sacristy the plot would have been much more exciting. About , the little world around the old cathedral of Paris is shocked by a scandalous event: the pregnancy of a young girl barely fourteen years old, an orphan named Heloise who lives in a presbytery, the house of a certain Fulbert, a canon of the parish.
Maybe he is her father; his own sister being her mother. She is his most beloved. She has already astonished the world of the schools beyond the province by her intelligence. Moreover, she is frequenting the schools of the brilliant philosopher, Abelard who is captivated by this not less brilliant pupil. She may confide him her troubles and worries. Without virtue, friendship cannot exist. In the meantime, neighbors acquire the impression that she may be pregnant.
He agrees to pay for it. The avaricious canon too easily accepts to be paid by 54 Dilectissima. However, he pokes fun at the pretext imagined by the canon satisfied of having found the scapegoat that, in due course, he will charge with the fatherhood of the bastard already in the way. When Abelard writes, years later, he may pretend not to have been altogether fooled by the canon. It means that she is failing to exercise the care a canon may expect from a child of Mary.
Fulbert says it indirectly. She is probably already preoccupied by the stop of her menses. She, before long, will learn that she is with child. Of course, I should admit that Peter Abelard loves the fabulous girl. He subsequently allows that his friendship for the girl is love. Love, for the canon and his companions, is lovemaking. Being in charge of forcing her, if necessary—canon Fulbert insists; 60 he vehemently 56 T Aliquid percepturam crederet. Heloise should absolutely be mastered. Abelard having been completely set alight by the marvel. Quid aliud agebat… What could the canon better do for pushing us into the arms of one another?
He enjoys a premier reputation of continence. He thinks he would catch the priest in his shady dealings, but ultimately himself is caught in the artful montage of the canon for Heloise has already become pregnant. He comes too late. Readers may hesitate whether the innocent Abelard comes as inspector or voluntary scapegoat.
Canon Fulbert waits until it will be acceptable to transfer the burden of paternity to the newcomer Abelard. This hateful philosopher, Abelard, shall be faced with a fait accompli. Alas, he seems to have forgotten that the hunter—hunting on the grasslands of the church—should be cautious, lest he himself end up the prey of a poacher. The Abbey Church was built as well as five priories for each category of his disciples. Pursuing his idea further, in , he placed an abbess at the head of the Abbey and the order, even recommending that only a widow be elected abbess to ensure she had experience to look after not only the spiritual but also the temporal needs of the order.
Robert died in at the priory of Orsan in the diocese of Bourges. Everybody was ready to fight to keep the body of the man they thought was a saint. Venarde traces Robert of Arbrissel's multifaceted life from humble origins to dramatic death and burial. Best known as the founder of fontevraud, a monastery for women and men in Western France, Robert of Arbrissel was a reformer, hermit, and preacher with a special mission to women. Hailed as a thunderclap of holy eloquence by some and castigated as a sponsor of sexual license by others, he was controversial in his own lifetime and remains so nearly a millennium later.
Mesurement of audience ROI statistics by.