Angela Carr

Of translating the indexical fountain

The corridors in The Rose Concordance by Angela Carr open onto the linguistic fountains of the Roman de la rose. The Roman de la rose (Romance of the Rose) was an extremely popular medieval French poem, whose initial variant was attributed to a writer de Lorris. A scholar, named Joseph R. Danos, then used this variant to create a concordance, that is a key word index, to the poem. The keywords are arranged in alphabetical order and under each keyword heading is a list of lines containing that keyword. Throughout the medieval age, the Roman de la rose was also copied many times by many scribes, and with each copy would have been altered, expanded, re-assembled, deleted, etc., bearing the marks of each copyist. The word copy comes from the Latin copia which means abundance, so one might say that the copyist doesn’t create simulacra but writes out of the spirit of abundance.

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