By Konrad Gaiser

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On the other hand, even at the literal level, Délie demands much greater mental effort in concentration because Scève is adapting meditation to the more allusive impresa. There is a superpositioning of traditional meditative procedures and impresa conventions in which Scève intertwines the former with the latter. As such, the rhetoric of the impresa turns meditation towards its own rules. That is, the impresa becomes a strategy to allure the reader through the puzzling play between its pictorial and verbal components.

Though Scève’s persona does not directly explore the place of volition in the context of predestination and divine election, there are contemporary literary works that take up this question. In his study concentrating on the relations between French Renaissance religious writing and Marguerite de Navarre’s devotional work, Gary Ferguson finds two types of tone stressing either theological doctrine or individual spirituality (1992, ix–xix, 7–8). In Jean Bouchet’s Triumphes de la noble et amoureuse dame, dogma predominates through the allegory of religious life as a pilgrimage to salvation – a historical-liturgical itinerary guided by church ministration and the sacraments.

4 The celebrated twenty-second dizain of Délie expresses the beloved as the dea triformis of Hecaté, Diana, and Luna. 5 Moreover, Délie presents the reader with an intermingling of biblical and pagan beliefs. For example, dizain 165 connotes a parallel between Pandora’s vengeance and Old Testament punishment when the lover’s audacity incurs a fate similar to that of ‘Dathan’ and ‘Abiron’ (v. 10) who were swallowed up by the earth. Another mixture of the sacred and the profane in connection with Délie’s divinity is recounted in dizain 278 6 The Art of Meditation and the French Renaissance Love Lyric where she is celebrated both as ‘Parolle saincte’ (v.

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