Difference between revisions of "12th century literature"

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#redirect [[12th_Century_Literature]]
==Oral poems==
 
Such oral [[poetry]] forms designed to be recited by [[troubadour]]s existed all over [[Europe]]. In the [[12th Century]], a large number of these poems began to be written down. It is not entirely known if this was intended to aid in their transmission to greater numbers of [[troubadours]] or to also be read aloud by non-musicians to their friends.
 
 
The [[Chanson de Geste]] was a [[French]] [[language]] form of recited poem. The addition of cryptic one-word instructions on many [[manuscript]]s which are believed to relate to the performance method (arguments are over if they are markers of stress in the vocal performance or musical accompaniment) makes it more likely such manuscripts were intended for professional musicians.
 
 
On the other hand, in the early [[13th century]], collections of oral tales such as [[la Roman de Renart]](a witty satirical set of tales about a fox, that parody [[courtly life]]), are available as popular manuscripts, spread far and wide, and additional tales added. The sheer number of manuscripts argue for these stories being read directly by the non-performer.
 
 
The many varied versions of [[Tristan and Isolde]], which are self contradictory, begin to be written down in the [[12th Century]].
 
 
==Romance==
 
An increasing number of books appear to have been created specifically as a [[book]] intended to entertain the [[literate]] [[populace]] (Raffel 198?). Examples of this include the [[Romance]]s of [[Chretien de Troyes]] and [[Marie de France]], some of which even preface themselves with an introduction to the reader. The romance genre was revolutionary - instead of the dry [[battle]] stories of the [[Chanson de Geste]] it told of the loves and lives of only slightly larger than life men and women. Tales of illicit love, unrequited or hidden love and lust, this genre formed the early ideas of [[courtly love]]. Given the increasing literacy of the [[noble]] populace, or more particularly of noblewomen (for many [[knight]]s were too busy training as boys to aquire more than basic literacy), these themes pandered to their audience with escapist romance with considerable sucess.
 
 
By the late [[12th Century]] these themes of courtly love had begun to influence other genres of writing - Chanson de Geste began to speak of the man behind the heroic deeds and incorporate more momentus deeds at [[court]] than on the warfield.
 
 
==Bestiaries==
 
The lavishly illustrated versions of some [[bestiary|bestiaries]] produced show us that this was intended as a medium of entertainment for the rich literate [[nobility]]. Despite the moral lessons of the text, many noble [[lady|ladies]] would enjoy reading about beasts of strange far away lands, real but so strange as to seem impossible and imaginary.
 
''(insert ref to ladies reading bestiaries)''
 
 
==Other==
 
There are a variety of other works that seem to have pandered to the popular taste. [[Marie de France]]'s Fables moralise directly for a wide audience of minor [[nobility]], and were immensely popular in their day.
 
 
Marie also translated [[Latin]] texts into the [[Anglo-norman]] dialect, to make them available to a wider audience, than the [[scholar]]s (mostly in the [[priest]]hood) who could read Latin much more fluently than the common [[noble]]. [[St Patrick's purgatory]] (a description of a vision of purgatory) is such a work, clearly written for a lay audience, and showing the facination of lay audiences for information on spiritual matters.
 
 
[[Category:12th century|Literature]]
 

Revision as of 18:26, 17 August 2005