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Title: French Troubadours: Assimilating Occitan Literature in Northern France (1200-1400)
Authors: Zingesser, Eliza
Advisors: Kay, Sarah
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Keywords: Gerbert de Montreuil
Roman de la violette
Jean Renart
Roman de la rose
Occitan poetry
Richard de Fournival
Bestiaire d'amour
Subjects: Romance literature
Medieval literature
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: <italic>French Troubadours</italic> explores the reception of Occitan lyric in France in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, that is, in the period corresponding to the Albigensian Crusade (1209-1229) and its aftermath, which witnessed France's annexation of the majority of Occitania. Surveying the corpus of French romances that quote Occitan song (Part I) and French songbooks that also contain Occitan lyrics (Part II), it shows how Occitan poems--from the very beginning of their French reception--were subtly incorporated into the French canon by way of imitation, compilation with French texts, and adaptation to the French sound system. Chapter 1, on Jean Renart's <italic>Roman de la rose</italic>, shows how the troubadours are collapsed into a set of francophone lyrics, which are enjoyed not in France but by the Holy Roman Emperor. French-language lyric, and other forms of French culture, are presented as the <italic>degré zéro</italic> of culture in the German Empire, while Germanic languages are treated as foreign. In Chapter 2, I turn to Gerbert de Montreuil's <italic>Roman de la violette</italic>, which, like Renart's <italic>Rose</italic>, appropriates troubadour lyrics linguistically, and--in one instance--also associates them with the Holy Roman Empire. Here, however, the Holy Roman Empire is not a neutral cadre, but a negative space. Chapter 3, devoted to Richard de Fournival's <italic>Bestiaire d'amour</italic>, shows how Richard obscures the first-person language and rhyme of the troubadour poems he quotes. In Part II, I turn to the set of French songbooks that transmit Occitan lyric. A study of compilation patterns reveals that, rather than being transmitted in a separate section of songbooks, Occitan poems--which are often Gallicized--are almost always interspersed with French lyrics. Consequently, a medieval reader who encountered the troubadours only in French transmission would have little chance of recognizing their cultural specificity. In Chapter 5, I explore the "pseudo-Occitan" corpus, which comprises pieces that contain Occitan phonological coloring but were probably composed by francophones. I show that these pieces occur primarily in a lower register. This trend fictionally repositions Occitan lyric as both "primitive" and--by extension--as anterior to French lyric.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

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