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critical analysis

A chantar m'er de so: Comtessa de Dia and the Feminist Ideals of the Trobairitz

Statement of Intent: As a performer emerging from a background of theatrical training, I entered this class most interested in the art of performance. However, I also realized that my passion for feminism and feminist studies would intersect beautifully in a further exploration of the trobairitz. As there is only one song with music that has been preserved from the trobairitz cannon, I decided to focus on Comtessa de Dia and “A chantar m’er de so” for my final project.

La Vergonha and the Future of Occitan Language

For my project, I wanted to explore how exactly the Occitan language experienced its decline since the time of the troubadours up until modern times. I looked at several secondary sources that examined the place of Occitan in France throughout history, and in addition, I looked at legislature, particularly the French Constitution to find France’s stance on language in the country. I started out by looking into the current status of Occitan in France alongside the presence of Occitan in medieval Europe after the time of the troubadours and Cathars.

Looking through the eyes of Bertran de Born

Normal Springtime                                                                                           Bertran de Born's Springtime
Bertran de Born: 
was a minor nobleman, though he had his own castle that he used for protection during war times
fortunes depended on his success in war
was a spokesman for the noble mercenaries
disliked times of peace because he would usually be poor
loved war since mercenaries paid him during this time

Separating son and motz

The Dillon article explores the relationship between music and lyric, acknowledging that these two disparate elements are usually combined to create a performance, but can be separated as well. On its own, lyric maintains aspects of performance with a rhyme scheme that gives sonality to the verse. Yet because these lyrics are never performed in recitation, only in song, I agree with Zumthor that omitting melody notation does a disservice to the poem. After all, troubadours were both poets and composers.

Taverner as the Umpire

TAVERNER: “Hey, hey, you there! No need for that./ Calm down, Raoul! And you, Connart!/ Let me decide the issue for you./ You’ll both be better off for it.” (626-629)TAVERNER: “What’s this, Cliquet? Is it a fight?/ Let go of him! You too, leave off!/ Go sit down, the pair of you,/ And each will get what he deserves./ Rasoir, tell us the cause of this--/ You must know who was in the wrong.” (926-931)TAVERNER: “What’s up?

Performative Utterances, footnotes included!

What I find most interesting about the vidas are not the vidas by themselves, but the combination of the vidas with their footnotes. I’m assuming the footnotes are added by troubadour scholars who want to present factual historical biographical information of the troubadours. In this week’s response essay, I want to analyze the vidas and their footnotes through the lenses of Austin’s definition of factual statements and performative utterances. 

The Displacement of Love for War

Bertran de Born verse interested me as it seemed to take the traditional love song, and add an additional layer of intent to the genre. I didn’t feel like it completely abandoned the canso, but used the traditional framework to illustrate an alternate meaning. In this way the Work of de Born was opened up to the cultural Text. In number forty-five, Bertran De Born begins with the Springtime opening that the listener expects to end in the introduction of the troubadours domna. However there is a surprising climax of a different kind with de Born.

Museum Administration in Languedoc Roussillon

If you are trying to learn about medieval Occitania in Languedoc-Roussillon, a visitor will be drawn to the old castles, cultural institutions like Cirdoc or the various mediatheques, but also to the various regional museums. As an American with some experience in museum programs and management, a lot of the museums we visited struck me as very similar. For our purpose, I will focus on the Centre du Sculpture Romane in Cabestany, the Centre du Chateau des Lastours, and the Musee Archeologique du Narbonne.

The Role of Rhythm in Troubadour Poetry: A Close Reading of Peire Cardenal

I focused on the role of rhythm in troubadour poetry, in particular zooming into the works of Peire Cardenal. Aside from a few exceptions in the late 13th and early 14th century, all troubadour melodies are notated with neumes, which give no indication of rhythm. I therefore wanted to examine the impact of the performers' interpretation of the poems on the meaning of the poems, as well as the structure of the poems as the poet meant them to be. Rhythm is especially important because audiences heard, rather than read the poems.


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