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Chapter 8 - Occitan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 August 2022

Mark Chinca
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
Christopher Young
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

Occitan literature is primarily identified with the troubadours and usually said to begin around the time of the first known example, Guilhem IX (1071–1127), even though, for two centuries before Guilhem, many works known as ‘pre-troubadour texts’ survive. This chapter begins by following the tentative openings onto a literature in Occitan of these texts from ca. the early tenth to the late eleventh centuries, discussing them in terms of their language, form, and manuscript context, and stressing their accidental or contingent character. It then documents how medieval people represent the troubadours: long after the death of Guilhem IX, grammarians (from around 1200) and manuscript compilers (from 1254) point to a range of different potential beginnings for troubadour poetry, now recognized as an ongoing tradition, but none identifies a ‘first troubadour’ earlier than the 1130s or 1140s. The works of Guilhem IX are a conundrum, then, since their composition comes after the end of the pre-troubadour openings, but before an identifiable beginning has begun. Guilhem’s songs are paradoxical in presenting similarities with pre-troubadour texts yet also serving as a reference point for poets of the 1130s and 1140s.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Occitan
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.009
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  • Occitan
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.009
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Occitan
  • Edited by Mark Chinca, University of Cambridge, Christopher Young, University of Cambridge
  • Book: Literary Beginnings in the European Middle Ages
  • Online publication: 11 August 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108776912.009
Available formats
×