Abstract

Reading figuratively often inhibits our ability to read eco/materially. In line with this argument, the present article focuses on the occurrence of the horticultural graft in a handful of English and French texts, and reads the graft materially, against its many figurative uses (well-documented in the secondary literature). I begin with the Prologue to the Monk’s Tale, in which Harry Bailly argues that one cannot take grafts (ympes) from an inferior tree and expect them to flourish or reproduce, and I conclude with a reading of the union of Amant and the Rose at the end of the Roman de la Rose that allows for an interpretation of Amant’s quest and consummation as a kind of aesthetic appreciation—as what might be called anthophilia.

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