Memory and Re-Creation in Troubadour Lyric

Memory and Re-Creation in Troubadour Lyric

by Amelia E. Van Vleck
     
 

In spite of the fame of individual singers, many of whose names are legendary, the songs of the troubadours often come to us in multiple versions, each with a different sequence of stanzas. What accounts for this variability? Authorial self-effacement might explain why much anonymous medieval poetry was "reworked," but Amelia Van Vleck argues that this answer will

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Overview

In spite of the fame of individual singers, many of whose names are legendary, the songs of the troubadours often come to us in multiple versions, each with a different sequence of stanzas. What accounts for this variability? Authorial self-effacement might explain why much anonymous medieval poetry was "reworked," but Amelia Van Vleck argues that this answer will not suffice when the author of the song is well known and admired.

Van Vleck outlines a new way of reading troubadour lyric by questioning the belief that chansonniers were compiled from song-sheets tracing back to written "authorized" copies. She challenges the very appropriateness of a concept of "text" as applied to troubadour lyric.
Instead of superimposing a nineteenth-century notion of "lyric poetry" on these songs, reading them as "perfect" texts and attempting to re-establish an "authentic" version through textual criticism, we must, she claims, become aware of these songs as potential performances with moveable parts, each version a realization of the whole song. Van Vleck concludes that it was primarily the voice, not the pen, that created (and re-created) this innovative body of poetry that forms the very foundation of the Western European lyric.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520065215
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
05/28/1991
Pages:
275
Product dimensions:
9.06(w) x 5.91(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Amelia E. Van Vleck is Assistant Professor of French at the University of Texas, Austin.

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