Joan Grenier-Winther, a professor of French at the Washington State University Vancouver, has received a grant to translate the love poetry of a fourteenth century French writer. The project, Translation of the Courtly Poetry of the 14th c. French Knight-Poet, Oton de Granson, is being run by Grenier-Winther with Peter Nicholson of the University Hawai’i, Manoa,
“Granson’s poetry speaks of love-sickness, adoration of the beloved, the ways in which a gallant knight should court and honor his lady, and the pain of unrequited love. With Chaucer, he is also believed to have established the association of St. Valentine with the cult of love, giving us the Valentine’s Day we all, hopefully, enjoy today,” said Grenier-Winther.
Granson spent more than half of his military career in service to the English and served as a conduit for the transmission of the conventions and fixed forms of French poetry to England. He was killed in a duel in 1397.
Grenier-Winther will travel to the University of Pennsylvania to consult an original 14th century manuscript. She hopes to publish the translation along with the French text, an introduction to the life of the poet and his position among his French and English literary contemporaries. Her paper will also discuss the formal and thematic conventions of Granson’s work.
The grant to Grenier-Winther is one of fifteen awarded by the university to faculty members as seed funds for projects. The grants have a $5,000 maximum limit and cover the costs of the research in part or in full.