Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mystery, Paradox and Fraud in the Life of Louise Labe

It has been suggested by professor Mireille Hochon in Sorbonne-Paris IV that Louise Labe or La belle Cordiere was only a paper creature. The Huchon Hypothesis suggests that she was the fiction of a circle of Lyonnaise poets centered around the figure of Maurice Sceve.

This is the famous Sonnet XIX- via Alice Park.

The Beautiful Diana

The beautiful Diana draws her bow,
Takes aim, and then lets fly her flaming dart:
Will she, in truth, strike straight through to the heart?
And though afraid, without a doubt we know

That once again, she will deliver
A rain of arrows from her pliant bow.
And she will say, “O woman, do not go
Before me now without a bow and quiver.”

A virgin goddess hunting for her prey,
She always strikes at any passer-by,
And nearby ones will watch and step away

As soon as she’s within clear sight. We know

At once she’ll notch her arrows to her bow,
Take aim, and hit one hundred straight bull’s eyes.

© 2000 Alice Park

JT LeRoy you are in fine company.


Karla said...

While I'm no specialist on French literature and it has been some years since I read Labé, I confess this hypothesis sounds dubious to me. Of course, I admit I would prefer it not to be true, so I hope that I'd be swayed if it was indeed accurate. Er... maybe sometime when I have time I'll read the book.

Princess Haiku said...

Karla, I hope you are right. I would hate to see Labe lose her mythic status too. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

This is too much! My husband just finished reading something in which there was talk of Louise Labbé - and certainly no suggestion that she was "created" by Scève or anyone else. Hm. Must check.