This book gathers eight occitan poems from the XIIIth century. Some of them are severe and rigorous, and claim to be didactic. Others are simply hilarious, bubbly, and full of nuances. All of them are devoted to look at this sort of lifestyle –or lifestyles– that we tend to call “courtoisie”, the mark of a courtly society.
The texts in this book are especially concerned with two of the major problems of courtly life. On the one hand, the fraught relationship between love –in all senses, sentimental and political– and jealousy –also in those same senses–, the feeling and behavior that endangers the courtly sense of liberty. On the other hand the texts are concerned with the very cultural agent of courtly culture, and the guarantor of its repertoire and memory –the jongleur.
These poems are very far from constituting a typical and traditional trend within Occitan cultures. They are, in a sense, an exception, a different look at how to think a culture that is their own. In part this is because they look at their own culture with –so to speak– archeological eyes, as if their own social thoughts, literary production, and vocabularies, were being buried by different events that are contemporary to them. It is from this archeological vantage point that they theorize about courtly life.
Along with the texts in translation, the book contains a long general introductory study about the archeology of courtliness, and shorter introductory studies for each of the texts.
- Arnaut de Carcassés, Novas del Papagai
- Raimon Vidal de Besalú, Abril issi’ e mais intrava
- Raimon Vidal de Besalú, En aquel temps qu·on era gais
- Raimon Vidal de Besalú (atr.), Castia gilós
- Guerau de Cabrera, Cabra, joglar
- Guiraut de Calanson, Fadet, joglar
- Guiraut Riquier, Suplicatió sobre el nom de juglar
- Guiraut Riquier (Alfonso X), Declaratió
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